Item description for Second Chances: Transforming Bitterness to Hope and the Story of Ruth by Levi Meier...
Deep feelings of depression and giving up hope are often part of the human experience. Second Chances explores strategies that serve as models for a more positive and optimistic life, transforming tragic circumstances into a force for healing. Drawing upon years as a clinical therapist and spiritual chaplain, Rabbi Levi Meier (author of the best-selling book, Ancient Secrets) paints a fresh approach to the Bible and draws relevancy and sage advice from an ancient text.
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Studio: Urim Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jun 15, 2005
Publisher Urim Publications
ISBN 9657108675 ISBN13 9789657108673
Availability 0 units.
More About Levi Meier
Rabbi Levi Meier, PhD, is chaplain of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is a clinical psychologist and was one of the religious leaders who "screened" The Prince of Egypt for the DreamWorks Studio. He is also the author of Moses The Prince, the Prophet: His Life, Legend & Message for our Lives and Ancient Secrets: Using the Stories of the Bible to Improve Our Everyday Lives (Jewish Lights).
Levi Meier currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Second Chances: Transforming Bitterness to Hope and the Story of Ruth?
Uplifting Words Jun 21, 2009
abbi Levi Meier is fond of saying that we are all on a journey, whether or not we know it. Of course, he is referring to life itself, and in his latest book, Meier illuminates that journey by looking at the compelling and sometimes tragic life of the biblical figure of Ruth. His book, "Second Chances: Transforming the Bitterness of Hope and the Story of Ruth," is at once a rich source of biblical scholarship and a guide designed to help readers deal with their own personal difficulties.
The Book of Ruth, which will be read during the coming holiday of Shavuot, tells of Ruth, a Moabite princess, who marries the son of a wealthy Jew who had taken his family to Moab to avoid a devastating famine in Israel -- and, more importantly also to avoid sharing his wealth and food with fellow Jews in their time of need. Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, suffer a catastrophe when Ruth's husband, her husband's only brother and her father-in-law die precipitously. Naomi is left with two young childless daughters-in-law, neither of whom is Jewish. Ruth declares that she has decided to stay with Naomi. In an act of pure loving-kindness, she states, "Do not urge me to desert you, to turn away from you. For wherever you go, I shall go; wherever you rest, I will rest; your people are my people, and your God is my God."
As Meier points out, Ruth is not just taking on the form of Naomi's faith, she is becoming one with it. She is taking on the very journey of Abraham, the founder of Judaism, when God instructed him in Genesis 12:1, "lech lecha -- go forth from your land, your father's house, your birthplace to the land I will show you." The parallels between the two are stunning.
Meier notes further, "Any person who would undertake such a difficult, dangerous and frightening journey requires special divine protection. That is what was promised to Abraham when he became the first convert."
The relationship of Ruth and Naomi is full of compassion and kindness. "Even when Naomi is confronting her inner bitterness, she extends kindness to Ruth, and Ruth reciprocates in the same manner," Meier writes. "Kindness as a response to pain, suffering and tragedy is one of the overriding themes of the Book of Ruth."
As a contemporary analyst of the Bible, Meier contributes the insightful perspective of his own experience as chief chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and as a clinical Jungian psychologist. His book is both an informative retelling of the story of Ruth and an ongoing extrapolation from it: Throughout his account, Meier will tell about an incident in Ruth's life and then relate it to common life problems.
Some ideas in this profound book came to Meier while he was teaching a monthly Torah class to Hollywood writers. I was privileged to be among them; Rabbi Meier is a gifted teacher.
"Second Chances," like his teaching, is full of readily applicable observations. Using anecdotes from his clinical and life experiences -- and relating them to the story of Ruth -- Rabbi Meier personalizes his insights, giving encouragement and strength to those readers who would make the most of their own second chances. -David Brandes The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
Rabbi Meier has written an inspirational book filled with anecdotes and stories that turn seemingly hopeless situations into opportunities for growth and fulfillment. He provides examples of loss and bitterness from the compelling story of Ruth and Naomi, and helps us understand, deal with, adjust to, and react to loss, loneliness, and sexuality.
Rabbi Meier summarizes each chapter of the Book of Ruth clearly and succinctly. He offers insights about human behavior from the narrative of Ruth and from the modem world. He draws material from the headlines, his therapeutic practice, and his experience as a chaplain at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. It is clear that his experience informs the healthy perspective offered in the book. This book follows on the heels of his endearing collection of inspirational work in Seven Heavens: Inspirational Stories to Elevate Your Soul (Devorah, 2002). Both are good selections for adult collections that offer inspirational literature, self-help titles, and modern commentary on biblical literature. -Abigail Yasgur AJL Newsletter