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Facing Illness, Finding God

How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler

6 x 9, 208 pp, Paperback, 978-1-58023-423-8

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Find spiritual strength for healing in the wisdom of Jewish tradition.

Whether you are facing illness yourself, serving as a caregiver, providing pastoral care, or simply wondering where God is when we get sick, the teachings and wisdom of Jewish tradition can help you cope with the difficulties of illness and infirmity.

With a format designed to accommodate the stressful life of people dealing with illness, Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler helps you focus on spiritual well-being as an essential aspect of physical healing and wholeness. He provides comfort and inspiration to help you maintain personal balance and family harmony amid the fear, pain, and chaos of illness. Combining the stories of real people with insights from Jewish sources, he offers practical advice and spiritual guidance for:

•  Reaching inward to the soul when the body fails

•  Reaching outward to provide strength, comfort, and compassion to the ill or infirm

•  Reaching upward to God through prayer and daily gratitude

“Useful.... By debunking many of the commonly held myths regarding illness ... helps us deal with the difficulties of sickness and caring for people who are sick.... Recommended.”

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

“An important contribution to the field of Jewish values in patient care.... Meaningful.... Helps the patient articulate what he or she may be feeling and provides words of comfort and encouragement.... Contain[s] many very valuable lessons and provides a wonderful introduction and inspiration to those who are new to visiting patients or are looking for some Jewish insights into the matter.”

Sh’ma

“Deeply personal and professionally inspiring.… Moving and yet practical … helps us reach into our unique inner resources, out to our friends and community, and up to the ultimate Source of Healing and Wholeness.”

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, LCSW, JBFCS/National Center for Jewish Healing; editor, Healing of Soul, Healing of Body: Spiritual Leaders Unfold the Strength & Solace in Psalms

“A rich resource for congregational bikkur cholim and caring committees, rabbis and chaplains, and anyone who has ever felt alone…. Speaks to our human need for relationship with God and with each other. A wonderful gift.”

Rabbi Ruth Alpers, Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor, Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati

“Very accessible ... provides knowing companionship for those living with illness and the people who care for them. Reflecting on many dimensions of the experience of illness, he shares a universally human as well as a particularly Jewish wisdom.”

Nancy Flam, co-director of programs, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

“Reach out to others. Reach out to God. Reach inside yourself. Then reach for this book. In it, you will find healing and hope.”

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, author, Jewish Paths toward Healing and Wholeness: A Personal Guide to Dealing with Suffering

“Offers essential help … provides practical tools and wisdom to journey through pain toward healing, love, and spiritual strength.”

Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz, author, Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World

“A wonderful book of hope and encouragement…. Provides comfort to all who struggle with issues of frailty and disability and their carers. Written in small vignette style with additional resources, it offers rich material for reflection.”

Marty Richards, author, Caresharing: A Reciprocal Approach to Caregiving and Care Receiving in the Complexities of Aging, Illness or Disability

“Calls us to read as carefully as [Rabbi Meszler’s] own story urges us to listen to people in distress…. Demystifies illness, and defines us all as human: possessed of infinite hope even as we are finite in our daily achievements.”

Rabbi William Cutter, director emeritus, Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion; editor, Healing and the Jewish Imagination: Spiritual and Practical Perspectives on Judaism and Health

 

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