Item description for The Blessing of a Broken Heart by Sherri Mandell...
Outline ReviewOf all the spiritual memoirs written about the healing power of love, this is one of the best and most relevant for our times. Author Sherri Mandell (Writers of the Holocaust had good reason to become a beacon of rage and despair after enduring the horrific murder of her eldest son Koby. Mandell, an American-born writer raising her family in Israel, sent her 13-year-old son off to school on May 8th, 2001. But Koby never made it to school that day. Instead he skipped school to go hiking with his friend Yosef. The two boys' bodies were found the next daybludgeoned to death in a cave near Koby's home in Tekoa. Palestinian terrorists were blamed for the attacks, although the murderers were never found.
News of the brutal murders swept across the world. The boys were held up as martyrs, symbols for the age-old hatred between two sets of people. Mandell might have used Koby's death to fuel this ancient conflict. But instead she offers a beautiful memoir, written almost like a prose-poem that recounts her transformation from grief into love and compassion. Ultimately she founded the Koby Mandell Foundation, which offers healing retreats for bereaved mothers and widows as well as a camp for children whose parents or siblings have been killed by terrorists. Despite the inspiring journey, this is not a sugar-coated story. Mandell is not afraid to share the specifics of her sorrow-and some of the passages are wrenching. "Just the night before he died, he lifted me up to show how strong he was," she recounts. "Then we measured and compared ourselves in the mirror, standing back to back. He was a fraction of an inch shorter then me. And now he will never reach me." This is a stellar memoir, speaking to the ever-constant challenge to cultivate love. --Gail Hudson
Product Description WINNER of the National Jewish Book Award, 2004
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SHERRI MANDELL was born in New York and graduated from Cornell University, where she received her M.A. in creative writing. She taught writing at the University of Maryland and at Dean State. She is the author of Writers of the Holocaust, (Facts on File, 2000) and has written for numerous magazines and journals, including The Washington Post, Denver Post and The Jerusalem Post. She moved to Israel in 1996, where she lives in Tekoa with her family, and is now director of The Koby Mandell Foundation Women's Healing Retreats for Bereaved Mothers and Widows.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Blessing of a Broken Heart?
Getting through grief Jan 18, 2004
Since I lost my oldest child six months ago, I felt I was too fragile and raw to read this book. While in Israel, however, I felt inspired and perhaps stronger, to delve into it. The feelings are so familiar and it is reassuring to know that the doubt and anger are not just mine. The only way to grieve is to communicate and share. This book provided me with some comfort that my reactions are normal and that I too will survive.
Sharing our Grief Jan 1, 2004
My son died a few months ago and I have begun reading many books on grief. But Sherri Mandell's book "Blessings of a Broken Heart" is the best one I have read. It is easy to read yet very deep. Each chapter is short and essay-like and can be read independently. Sherri is very open about what her grief feels like, openly talking about subjects others may avoid. It seems as I read that she and I are sitting across the table from each other sharing our grief. At the same time, she gives a glimpse into the lives of those that are brave enough to return to Israel to live in these perilous times. And she also gives a glimpse into the Jewish way of mourning. This book is a journey through the first year of grief and you feel like you are walking it with her. I recommend this book to ANYONE that is grieving or has a loved-one that may be grieving. I have not read another book on grieving since - hers was the last one I needed.
Hauntingly beautiful Dec 30, 2003
(*sigh*) What can a mere person say about the pain that is spilled out on the pages of this book? How about "Thank you, Sherri Mandell, for helping me understand even just a little bit what a parent goes through when they lose a child." ?
This book heals more than hurts the reader. As a friend of a family who lost their child before his time, I grasped for a way to understand - to be the friend they needed in their time of sorrow. Reading this book has allowed me to be unafraid of their pain and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. It helped me to realize how their healing will come in stages and how I can support them through the coming months.
Thank you, Sherri, for sharing your unbearable pain and unimaginable blessings.
A must read book for everyone! Nov 27, 2003
Some of my friends who have read this book say it is depressing. They say they cried as they read it. Yet I read it, and didn't find it depressing. The difference? I also lost my oldest son, but to a different beast. Sherri has taken the pain of losing a child, and wrapped it up for all to see. It is hard for some to read because they want to see us "get over" the loss. I hope that all who read it will see for a second what every waking moment of our lives are like. The writing is so eloquent. While taking you into the depths of pain, Sherri is able to shine light with her strength. She has offered us hope and inspiration, but carries the message that Koby is with her forever. Sherri has touched my heart!
Thank you for writing this book Nov 8, 2003
Koby Mandell was a great kid, tragically lost to terrorism at the tender age of 13. His mother Sherri Mandell has written a book that is a moving tribute to her son and a testament to the strength of families and faith in the face of unrelenting horror. A surprisingly optimistic book with a vision of hope to warm all hearts.