Facing Illness, Finding God: How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails

Facing Illness, Finding God: How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails

by Joseph B. Meszler

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Overview

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580234238
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 01/15/2010
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is a noted spiritual leader and educator, recognized for his ability to connect the importance of Jewish tradition with everyday life. He is coauthor of The JGuy's Guide: The GPS for Jewish Teen Guys and author of A Man's Responsibility: A Jewish Guide to Being a Son, a Partner in Marriage, a Father and a Community Leader; Witnesses to the One: The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma and Facing Illness, Finding God: How Judaism Can Help You and Caregivers Cope When Body or Spirit Fails (all Jewish Lights). He is the rabbi at Temple Sinai in Sharon, Massachusetts, and an instructor at the Kehillah Schechter Academy.

Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler is available to speak on the following topics:

  • The Spiritual History of the Sh'ma : What "God Is One" Might Mean
  • Not Your Father's Brotherhood: What Being a Jewish Man Meant Then and Now
  • How Judaism Can Help You Cope with Illness

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Raphael: Support for Your Healing xv

Part 1 Reaching Inward: Coping When You Are Ill

My New Normal 3

Stinkin' Thinkin' 5

"But I Am Not Used to Asking for Help" 7

More Than Just Your Body Is Hurt 11

Seeking Healing: Body and Soul 13

I Am Never Going to Be the Same 17

Identifying Your Exile 23

I Am Afraid I Might Die 26

Bitterness Can Be a Burden 30

The World Is Imperfect 32

Your Body Is a House for Your Soul 37

You Have Inherent Worth, No Matter What 41

How We Mark Moving On 44

When Waking Up in the Morning Is a Miracle 47

When Raphael Makes You Face Forward 50

Part 2 Reaching Outward: Finding Strength in Caregiving

What You Do Matters 55

Its Not about You 58

"Don't Just Do Something. Sit There!" 62

Learning to Listen 67

How You Can Be "On the Level" 70

You May Not Be Able to See the Difference, But Its There 74

Even God Visits the Sick 79

Emotional Disorders and Addictions Are Jewish Problems, Too 82

Be Who You Are and Do What You Know 85

Be Someone Else's Angel 88

Part 3 Gathering Around: Dealing with Family

Where Were You When Mom Got Sick? 93

What Are My Obligations, and What Axe My Limits? 96

Too Close for Comfort 104

Who Is Sick? 109

The Meaning of Shalom Bayit (Peace in the Home) 113

When We Cry Out of Love 116

Part 4 Reaching Upward: Searching for God

Why Praying Can Help Even If You've Never Done It Before 121

Where Did All These Prayers Come From? 124

Grown-up Prayer 128

What Prayer Cannot Do 131

Why "We" Pray 134

What Kind of Powerful? 136

The Morning, Afternoon, and Evening of Your Life 139

When You Need to Scream 144

Why Prayer Works Even When It Doesn't 148

Finding the Simple Truth in Prayer 150

God Is Right Here and Right Now 154

The End of the Matter: Gratitude 158

Wrestling in Prayer 161

Appendix I Rabbi Nachman's Silent Scream 163

Appendix II Laws on Visiting the Sick 165

Appendix III Some Guidelines for Visiting the Sick in Today's World, Based on Jewish Tradition 169

Notes 173

Recommended Reading 179

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