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Goldman explores the emotional and spiritual aspects of spending a year in mourning, as he examines its effects on him as a husband, father, and member of his community. Left without parents (his mother died four years earlier), he is no longer a son to anyone, but he comes to understand that through the daily recitation of kaddish, he can both connect with and honor his mother and his father in a way that he could not always do during their lifetimes. And in his daily synagogue attendance - usually near his Manhattan home but also during the course of his travels in Israel, the Catskills, and France - he finds his fellow worshipers to be an unexpected source of strength, wisdom, and comfort.
Posted September 18, 2003
Living a Year of Kaddish portrays one man¿s search to come to terms with the loss of his father. But it does more than that: it shows, with vivid and stirring vignettes, how the most painful pages of a life (divorce, estrangement, and death, to name the ones Goldman grapples with) need not be turned with the bitterness of a victim, but can be read with the openness of a student who is willing to learn, and to grow. Goldman is an Orthodox Jew, and as the title of his book makes clear, he draws first and foremost on the religious and cultural traditions that have shaped his family for generations. But he does not write for fellow believers alone. A keen-eyed observer with a gift for distilling the universal from the particular, he speaks in terms that will resonate with a wide and varied readership.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.