Divorce Is a Mitzvah: A Practical Guide to Finding Wholeness and Holiness When Your Marriage Dies

Divorce Is a Mitzvah: A Practical Guide to Finding Wholeness and Holiness When Your Marriage Dies

by Perry Netter, Laura Geller
     
 

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If your marriage must come to an end, do it the right way—with wisdom, practicality and understanding.

What does Judaism tell you about divorce? What guidance, strength and insight can Judaism provide?

In this first-of-its-kind handbook, Perry Netter—divorcé, father, congregational rabbi and pastoral counselor—shows how wholeness

Overview

If your marriage must come to an end, do it the right way—with wisdom, practicality and understanding.

What does Judaism tell you about divorce? What guidance, strength and insight can Judaism provide?

In this first-of-its-kind handbook, Perry Netter—divorcé, father, congregational rabbi and pastoral counselor—shows how wholeness can be found in the midst of separation and divorce. With a title drawn from the words of the eleventh-century biblical commentator known as Rashi, Divorce Is a Mitzvah provides practical wisdom, information and strength from a Jewish perspective for those experiencing the challenging life-transition of divorce.

Drawing on wisdom from centuries of biblical and rabbinic teachings, as well as modern psychological research, Netter offers suggestions for transitioning through the stages of separation and building a new life.

This indispensable guide for people in crisis—and the family members, friends and counselors who interact with them—shows us how to transform a traumatic time of life into one of growth, right behavior and greater spiritual understanding.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A rich resource for Jews seeking wisdom as they face divorce. Skillfully draws upon Jewish tradition to point the way to a path of holiness and hope amidst divorce's painful terrain of sadness, anger and confusion."
Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman, editor, Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Handbook from Traditional and Contemporary Sources; director, Geriatric Chaplaincy Program, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

"A highly readable explanation of the cycle of love, marriage and divorce, drawing on Judaic sources, psychology, true stories and personal experience. Reveals great truths and can enhance a stable marriage, help a marriage in crisis, and facilitate divorce if needed."
Rabbi Levi Meier, PhD, chaplain, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; clinical psychologist; author, Ancient Secrets: Using the Stories of the Bible to Improve Our Everyday Lives

“A unique, perceptive and constructive book about divorce. Any Jewish divorcing couple will find the wisdom and guidance in this book a great help.”
E. M. Hetherington, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia; author, For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered

Publishers Weekly
If marriage is a holy act, what does that make divorce? A rabbi, divorced father of three and the child of divorce, Netter writes about divorce with clarity on both practical and emotional issues and doesn't hesitate to share his own pain and growth. Jewish literature, both classical and contemporary, he says, is uncharacteristically silent about divorce. Conventional wisdom still interprets it as a sin, an embarrassment to family and community. One exception is Rashi, the 11th-century biblical commentator, who states succinctly that "divorce is a mitzvah"(a commandment or good deed) in his remarks on a passage in Deuteronomy about granting a bill of divorce. "To seek the holy and the sacred is what I believe to be the central question governing divorce," writes Netter. Each chapter tackles common questions that Netter addresses with tact and sensitivity, placing them in appropriate psychological, legal, emotional, financial and religious contexts: Why is this happening to me? Should I leave or not? What do I do with all this anger? What is the ritual of the "get" (Jewish bill of divorce)? Do I litigate or mediate? How do we continue raising children together? Powerful biblical examples recast the growth process that often accompanies divorce. Rabbi Laura Geller's afterword on new Jewish divorce rituals adds a welcome feminist perspective. Netter's guide reads like an extended visit to the rabbi's study-especially comforting because this rabbi knows all too well what his visitor is going through. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580231725
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
08/01/2002
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
466,917
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Perry Netter is the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Am, a large Conservative congregation in metropolitan Los Angeles. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs on the subject of divorce. An adjunct lecturer in Rabbinics at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, Rabbi Netter's work has been published in many magazines, including Moment and Sh'ma, as well as in the Los Angeles Times.

Rabbi Laura Geller is senior rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She was twice named one of Newsweek's 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and was featured in the PBS documentary Jewish Americans. She has contributed to many books and journals, and was on the editorial board of The Torah: A Women's Commentary.

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