Sandy's Reviews > Have a Little Faith: a True Story

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
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Dec 18, 09

bookshelves: religious-motivational, historical-nonfiction
Recommended for: everyone, religious or not
Read in December, 2009 — I own a copy

This was an amazing book. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a positive, uplifting book about religion.

This book was inspired by a simple request: Will you do my eulogy? The request was made by his childhood rabbi. In order for Albom to feel comfortable giving the eulogy for a Man of God, as well as a rabbi he said he "ran away" from (both literally as he tried to leave the synagogue when possible, and figuratively as he essentially left his religion in his past as he grew up), he begins meeting regularly with his rabbi to get to know him as a person and as a spiritual leader. He then compares this man's journey through life and through religion to another man, who was a Christian pastor but started life as a drug dealer, thief, convict, and so on. He discusses the various reasons people turn to God (whether they name him God, Jesus, Allah, etc.), and the influence for good that religion can play (he briefly touches on the negative, such as the negative attitudes between religions or the negative behavior justified by religion; however, these are only used as examples of what God would NOT want his children to do).

It was wonderful to read a story about religion that seeks out the best instead of arguing why one religion is better than the other or condemning all non-believers to Hell. I do have a very high level of respect for the Jewish religion, and have never known a Jew that I cannot speak highly of, so that may also be influencing my high rating of this book.

Basically, I loved this book. I loved the messages it conveys, such as not getting offended over differences of religion. For example, there's one section where the author talks about how it always bothered him when Christians said "God bless you" because they were referring to their God blessing him and not his God blessing him. He talked to the rabbi about it, asking how the rabbi responds when Christians say this, and the rabbi said he replies with, "Thank you, and God bless you." When the author asks why he doesn't get offended, the rabbi asks, "Why should I?"

There's another story of the rabbi being cared for by an in-home nurse who drives him to temple and various places. The nurse was a Hindu, and the rabbi, knowing little about her religion, asked her many questions and tried to learn as much as he could. He would also listen to her Hindu music, and could appreciate it even though he was not a member of her religion. There are many little stories like this one throughout the book, showing the rabbi (and Henry's) acceptance of other religions, and appreciation for the positive things those religions encourage their members to do.

Great book. It's short and an easy read, but one I would definitely read again and again.
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