The suffering that brings you to despair and even desperation can—with healing—become a source of hope, purpose and blessing.
Are you: Feeling anxious? Feeling depressed because of the loss of health, a relationship or a job? Grieving the loss of a loved one? Grieving loss by a suicide? Feeling hopeless? Concerned about a friend who has suicidal thoughts?
This wise and helpful guide explores the nature of personal suffering and brokenness and the potential for personal crisis as a source of strength and renewal instead of despair and death. Examining the personal journeys of biblical and historical figures such as Moses, Maimonides, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Buber—as well as the author's own personal experience with despair—it looks at brokenness as an inescapable element of the human condition. It traces the path of suffering from despair to depression to desperation to the turning point—healing—when first-hand knowledge of suffering can be transformed into blessing.
A child of Holocaust survivors and former psychiatric patient, Spitz bravely shares his own story, in bits and pieces, in an effort to offer hope and consolation not only to those fighting depression but to their friends and families. Through an in-depth series of biblical examples, Talmudic tales and stories from people in his congregation, Spitz offers a long history of despair through the ages, meant to remind us that we are not alone, suffering is not new and healing is possible. Tools for actively seeking solace round out each chapter, covering everything from perspective and transformation to forgiveness and gratitude. Despite the brave baring of his story, Spitz remains at a distance, almost hidden amid long Torah portions. Though full of useful information, particularly regarding help for those affected by suicide, the narrative disappoints, lacking warmth and accessibility.