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Have a Little Faith: a True Story

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In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere.

Albom's first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.

Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers, and histories are different, Albom begins to recognize a striking unity between the two worlds--and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.

In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the rabbi's last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Have a Little Faith is a book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story.

Ten percent of the profits from this book will go to charity, including The Hole In The Roof Foundation, which helps refurbish places of worship that aid the homeless.

249 pages, Hardcover

First published September 30, 2009

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About the author

Mitch Albom

91 books107k followers
Mitch Albom is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, which have collectively sold more than forty million copies in forty-eight languages worldwide. He has written eight number-one New York Times bestsellers – including Tuesdays with Morrie, the bestselling memoir of all time, which topped the list for four straight years and celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022 – award-winning TV films, stage plays, screenplays, a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and a musical. Through his work at the Detroit Free Press, he was inducted into both the National Sports Media Association and Michigan Sports halls of fame and is the recipient of the 2010 Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement. After bestselling memoir Finding Chika and “Human Touch,” the weekly serial written and published online in real-time to raise funds for pandemic relief, his latest work is a return to fiction with New York Times bestseller The Stranger in the Lifeboat (Harper, November 2021). In 2006, he founded the nonprofit SAY Detroit, whose operations include a dessert shop and popcorn line to fund programs for Detroit’s most underserved citizens. He also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, which he visits monthly. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan. Learn more at www.mitchalbom.com, www.saydetroit.org, and www.havefaithaiti.org.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,466 reviews
Profile Image for Shani.
11 reviews3 followers
August 5, 2011
"In the beginning, there was a question.
"In the end, the question gets answered." - Mitch Albom

I just finished reading Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. I'm not sure why I picked up this novel to read. Perhaps I was bored and needed something to do, perhaps I was looking for something to feel a void; or perhaps, just perhaps, I needed a little bit of faith.

Have a Little Faith is an amazing story about a Rabbi, a Christian Minister, and a man with very little faith. This book will take you through an incredible journey with a beautiful message in the end . I felt inspired after reading this book. Sometimes in life I forget to look up and thank the man upstairs. I forget to thank him for another day, another blessing, another lesson learned.

I highly recommend this book to anyone from any religion. Funny, I'm a Black-American woman is engaged to a Jewish man. I often wondered how our two different religions could mix. This book taught me a little something- regardless of religion, "faith is employed similarly." No matter our beliefs and religion, our faith is tied to the same God. This book will help you to find comfort in believing in something bigger than yourself.

Keep the Faith my friends, and go purchase this book!
Profile Image for Debbie.
686 reviews427 followers
August 31, 2022
Why I chose to read this book:
1 I have been a fan of Mitch Albom's writing ever since I first read his book The Five People You Meet in Heaven, so I added this book to my WTR list when I came across a copy at a thrift shop; and,
2. August is my "As the Spirit Moves Me Month" (and it literally did with this book!)

1. Albom successfully weaves the stories of two men of God from very different walks of life;
2. the "Author's Note" is a must-read in which Albom explains, among other things, the purpose for this book and the inspiration for the cover design; and,
3. some profound quotes hit me so personally, that I had to sit up and take notice:
- (p. 77) "In any conversation ... there are at least three parties: you, the other person, and the Lord."
- (p. 82) "It is far more comforting to think God listened and said no, than to think that nobody's out there."
- (p. 100) "He was never haunted by "Why am I here?" He knew why he was here, he said: to give to others, to celebrate God, and to enjoy and honor the world he was put in. His morning prayers began with "Thank you, Lord, for returning my soul to me." When you start that way, the rest of the day is a bonus."
- (p. 161) "...you should be convinced of the authenticity of what you have, but you must also be humble enough to say that we don't know everything. And since we don't know everything, we must accept that another person may believe something else."

Overall Thoughts:
This book reaffirmed my belief that people follow (or don't follow) different faiths/religions because that is what they need at that moment in their lives.
It's an incredibly moving read in so many ways! Sometimes, I just had to stop and cry! It truly inspired me to be a better person in various ways. Definitely a keeper!

A must-read for believers (or non!) of all faiths!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.6k followers
August 10, 2020
Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request, Mitch Albom

In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز یازدهم ماه اکتبر سال 2010 میلادی

عنوان: یک ذره ایمان داشته باش؛ نویسنده: میچ آلبوم؛ مترجم: نازنین میرصادقی؛ تهران: ایران‌بان‏‫، 1388؛ در 300ص؛ شابک 9789642980901؛ موضوع: ‏‫آلبرت ال لوئیس؛ هنری پی‬ کاوینگتن - ‏‫ایمان (یهودیت)‬ - داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 21م‮‬

عنوان: ذره‌ ای ایمان داشته باش؛ نویسنده: میچ آلبوم ؛ مترجم: مهرداد وثوقی؛ تهران افراز، ‏‫‬‏1389؛ در 250ص؛ شابک 9789642432745؛

عنوان: ذره‌ای ایمان داشته باش؛ نویسنده: میچ البوم ؛ مترجم: فریده همتی؛ تهران درسا، 1389؛ در 304ص؛ شابک: 9789648759600؛

عنوان: ایمان داشته باشیم؛ نویسنده: میچ آلبوم؛ مترجم صدیقه ابراهیمی(فخار)؛ تهران دایره‏‫، 1389؛ در 293ص؛ شابک 9786005722031؛ چاپ دوم 1394؛

عنوان: کمی ایمان داشته باش؛ نویسنده: میچ البوم؛ مترجم احمد نیازاده؛ تهران نشر قطره‏‫، 1393، در 302ص؛ چاپ دوم 1394؛ چاپ ششم 1397؛ در 278 ص؛ شابک 9786001197857؛‬
عنوان: کمی ایمان داشته باش: یک داستان واقعی؛ نویسنده میچ آلبوم؛ مترجم مریم فتاحی؛ تهران نشر نیماژ‏‫، 1393؛ در 195ص؛ شابک 9786003670099؛

عنوان: ذره‌ای ایمان داشته باش؛ نویسنده: میچ آلبوم؛ مترجم: حجت‌‌اله سرلک؛ تهران: نشر هونار‏‫، ‏‫1395؛ در 216ص؛ شابک 9786008183006؛

عنوان: کمی ایمان داشته باش بر اساس یک داستان واقعی؛ نویسنده: میچ آلبوم؛ مترجم: هومن عباسی‌نتاج‌عمرانی؛ ویراستار: ناکتا رودگری؛ تهران نوای مکتوب‏‫، ‏‫1398؛ در 208ص؛ شابک 9786008958178؛‬‬

کتاب «کمی ایمان داشته باش» نوشته «میچ آلبوم»، نویسنده، موسیقی‌دان، و برنامه‌ ساز تلویزیونی است.؛ «آلبوم»، نویسنده‌ ای کم‌کار اما از نظر منتقدان، موفق هستمد.؛ مشهورترین کتاب ایشان «سه‌ شنبه‌ ها با موری» نام دارد، که مدت‌ها، در صدر کتاب‌های پرفروش قرار داشت.؛ «آلبوم» در اکثر آثارش سویه‌ ای مذهبی عرفانی دارند، و به منشا عالم هستی و روابط بین اجزای جهان میپردازند.؛

نقل از متن: «کسی را که اهل ایمان باشد میشناسی؟ وقتی او را میبینی، فرار میکنی؟ اگر این‌طور است، بدان دیگر نیازی به گریز نیست.؛ چند لحظه‌ ای بنشین.؛ یک لیوان آب یخ بنوش.؛ یک بشقاب نان ذرت بخور.؛ شاید متوجه شوی چیز زیبایی هست، که میتوان یاد گرفت، و نه تو را میگزد، و نه ضعیفت میکند، فقط ثابت میکند در وجود تک‌تک ما جرقه ‌ای الهی هست، که شاید یکروز بتواند جهان را نجات دهد.؛ در آغاز یک پرسش بود.؛ در پایان، آن پرسش پاسخش را گرفت.؛ خداوند میخواند، و ما با او زمزمه میکنیم، و ترانه‌ های بسیاری هست، اما فقط یک آهنگ را میخوانیم، فقط یکی؛ ترانه‌ ی شگفت‌انگیز انسان». پایان نقل

نقل نمونه متن از کتاب کمی ایمان داشته باش؛ مترجم: احمد نیازاده؛ در آغاز...؛ در آغاز یک پرسش بود.؛ «میتوانی سخنرانی مراسم خاکسپاریم را تو بگویی؟» گفتم: متوجه نمیشوم.؛ پیرمرد دوباره پرسید «سخنرانی مراسم خاکسپاری؟ وقتی از دنیا میروم.»؛ پلکهایش باز و بسته میشد.؛ ریشهای سفیدش را تمیز و مرتب اصلاح کرده بود، و کمی خمیده ایستاده بود.؛ پرسیدم: مرگت نزدیک است؟ با خنده گفت: «نه هنوز.» پس چرا...؟ «چون به نظرم گزینه ی مناسبی برای اینکار هستی، و فکر میکنم وقتی زمانش فرا برسد، میدانی چه بگویی.»؛ در ذهنتان مجسم کنید پرهیزگارترین مردی را که میشناسید.؛ کشیش، روحانی، خاخام، امام جماعتتان را.؛ حالا تصور کنید او آهسته روی شانه ی شما بزند، و بخواهد شما از طرف او با این دنیا وداع کنید؛ در ذهنتان مجسم کنید مردی که دیگران را تا بهشت بدرقه میکند، از شما بخواهد، او را تا بهشت بدرقه کنید.؛ گفت: «خوب؟ مشکلی با این قضیه نداری؟»؛ در آغاز پرسش دیگری هم بود.؛ «یا مسیح، مرا رستگار میکنی؟»؛ مردی تفنگ در دست، پشت سطلهای زباله ی جلو یک ردیف خانه ی همشکل در بروکلین، پنهان شده بود.؛ نیمه های شب بود.؛ همسر و دختربچه اش گریه میکردند.؛ با دقت به ماشینهایی که به سمت خانه اش میآمد، نگاه میکرد.؛ بی تردید ماشین بعدی ماشین کسانی است، که میخواهند او را از پا دربیاورند.؛ لرزان پرسید: «مرا رستگار میکنی یا مسیح.؛ اگر قول بدهم زندگیم را وقف تو کنم، امشب مرا نجات میدهی؟»؛ تصور کنید پرهیزگارترین مردی را که میشناسید.؛ کشیش، روحانی، خاخام، امام جماعتتان را.؛ حالا او را با لباسهای کثیف مجسم کنید، که تفنگی در دست، پشت چند سطل زباله طلب رستگاری میکند.؛ مجسم کنید مردی که دیگران را تا بهشت بدرقه میکند، ملتمسانه میخواهد به جهنم نرود.؛ زمزمه میکرد: «پروردگار من، اگر قول بدهم...» این داستانِ باور داشتن است، و دو مرد کاملاً متفاوت، که به من آموختند چگونه میتوانم ایمان داشته باشم.؛ زمان زیادی طول کشید تا آنرا بنویسم.؛ به مکانهای مذهبی زیادی رفتم، به شهرها و حومه های آنها، به «ما» مقابل «آنها» فکر کردم، به چیزی که باعث جدایی اهل ایمان در همه جای دنیا میشود؛

و سرانجام، این داستان من را به خانه ام برد، به عبادتگاهی پر از مردم، به تابوتی از چوب کاج، و به منبری خالی.؛ در آغاز یک پرسش بود.؛ اما مبدل به آخرین درخواست شد.؛ «میتوانی سخنرانی مراسم خاکسپاریم را تو بگویی؟»؛ و از آنجایی که اغلب در مورد اعتقادات اینگونه است، گمان میکردم میخواهند در حق کسی لطفی کنم، در حالیکه در واقع لطفی شامل حال من شده بود.؛

بهار سال 1965میلادی است...؛ و پدرم من را برای مراسم دعای صبح شنبه از اتومبیل پیاده میکند.؛ به من میگوید: «باید بروی.»؛ هفت ساله هستم، خیلی کم سن و سالتر از آنکه یک سئوال بدیهی را بپرسم: چرا من باید بروم و او نه.؛ در عوض کاری را میکنم که او گفت.؛ وارد عبادتگاه میشوم و از راهرویی طولانی میگذرم، و به سمت یک محراب کوچک میروم، همان جاییکه مراسم دعای کودکان برگزار میشود.؛ پیراهن سفید آستین کوتاهی پوشیده ام و به کراواتم سنجاق زده ام.؛ درِ چوبی را میکشم و باز میکنم.؛ کودکان نوپا روی زمین هستند.؛ پسرهای کلاس سوم خمیازه میکشند.؛ دختران پایه ی ششم لباس کشباف نخی تیره به تن دارند، و قوز کرده اند، و با هم پچ پچ میکنند.؛

کتاب دعایی برمیدارم.؛ صندلیهای انتهای اتاق پر است، برای همین همان جلو مینشینم. یک دفعه در باز میشود و سکوت اتاق را فرا میگیرد.؛ مرد خدا وارد میشود.؛ همچون غولها راه میرود.؛ موهایش مشکی است و پرپشت.؛ وقتی حرف میزند، تکانهای بازوهایش ردای بلندش را همچون پارچه ای مقابل باد بالا و پایین میکند.؛ داستانی را از کتاب مقدس میگوید.؛ از ما سئوال میکند.؛ روی صحنه بلند بلند قدم برمیدارد.؛ به جاییکه نشسته ام نزدیک میشود.؛ احساس میکنم بدنم یک دفعه گُر میگیرد.؛ از خدا میخواهم من را ناپیدا کند.؛ لطفاً، خدایا، لطفاً.؛ پرحرارتترین دعای آن روزهای من است.؛

مارس: سُنت بزرگ دوری: حضرت آدم در باغ عدن پنهان شد.؛ حضرت موسی تلاش کرد برادرش را جانشین خود کند.؛ حضرت یونس سوار بر قایقی شد و نهنگی او را بلعید.؛ آدمی میخواهد از خداوند دوری کند.؛ گویی یک رسم است.؛ بنابراین شاید دوری من از آلبرت لوییس از همان دوران کودکی ام تبعیت از این سنت بود.؛ البته او خدا نبود، اما در نظر من نزدیکترین فرد به خداوند بود، مردی مقدس، یک روحانی، رئیس بزرگ.؛ وقتی کودک بودم، والدینم به جماعت عبادت کنندگان عبادتگاه او پیوستند.؛ در هنگام موعظه هایش روی پای مادرم مینشستم.؛ و با وجود این وقتی فهمیدم او کیست، مرد خدا، دویدم.؛ اگر او را در راهرو میدیدم، میدویدم �� فرار میکردم.؛ حتی در دوران نوجوانی هم اگر میدیدم به من نزدیک میشود، داخل یکی از راهروها پنهان میشدم.؛

بلندقد بود، نزدیک 190سانتی متر. در حضورش احساس کوچکی میکردم.؛ وقتی از عینک قاب مشکیش نگاه میکرد، مطمئن بودم میتواند تمام گناهان و ضعفهای من را ببیند.؛ برای همین از او فرار میکردم.؛ فرار میکردم تا دیگر چشمش به من نیفتد.؛ وقتی به سمت خانه اش رانندگی میکردم، اتفاقات گذشته در ذهنم تداعی میشد.؛ یکروز بهاری در سال 2000میلادی بود، پس از باد و باران.؛ چند هفته قبل بود که آلبرت لوییس هشتاد و دو ساله آن تقاضای عجیب را از من کرد، در یک راهرو و پس از سخنرانیم.؛ «میتوانی سخنرانی مراسم خاکسپاریم را تو بگویی؟»؛ پاهایم خشک شده بود.؛ تا آن زمان چنین چیزی از من نخواسته بودند، هیچ کس، چه برسد به یک پیشوای مذهبی.؛ همه سرگرم سلام و احوالپرسی بودند، اما او مدام لبخند میزد، و انگار معمولیترین سئوال دنیا را پرسیده بود.؛

تا اینکه یک دفعه گفتم باید وقت داشته باشم، و درباره ی آن موضوع فکر کنم.؛ پس از چند روز به او زنگ زدم.؛ گفتم خیلی خوب، درخواستش را میپذیرم؛ در مراسم خاکسپاریش صحبت میکنم، اما تنها در صورتیکه بگذارد او را به عنوان یک فرد معمولی بشناسم، تا بتوانم همانگونه در موردش حرف بزنم؛ گمان میکردم آنکار مستلزم چند ملاقات شخصی با او باشد.؛ گفت: «قبول.»؛ داخل خیابان پیچیدم.؛ تا آنموقع، هرچه از آلبرت لوییس میدانستم چیزهایی بود که یک مخاطب از یک مجری میداند: نوع بیانش، حضورش روی صحنه، شیوه ای که عبادت کنندگان را با صدای محکم و بلند، و حرکات دستانش مات و مبهوت میکرد.؛ البته، زمانی با هم نزدیکتر بودیم.؛ در دوران کودکی معلم من بود، و چندین مراسم خانوادگیمان را هم انجام داده بود؛ مثلاً ازدواج خواهرم و خاکسپاری مادربزرگم را.؛ اما در واقع بیست و پنج سالی میشد، دور و برش نبودم.؛ از اینها گذشته، شما چقدر درباره ی روحانی خود میدانید؟ به حرفهایش گوش میدهید، و به او احترام میگذارید، اما به عنوان یک فرد معمولی؟ روحانی من، همچون یک پادشاه از من دور بود.؛ هرگز در خانه اش غذا نخورده بودم.؛ هیچگاه به عنوان یک دوست با او به گردش نرفته بودم.؛ اگر همچون دیگر انسانها نقاط ضعفی داشت، آنها را نمیدیدم.؛ عادتهای شخصی؟ از هیچکدام خبر نداشتم.؛ خوب، این حرفم خیلی هم درست نیست.؛ از یکی از عادتهایش مطلع بودم.؛ میدانستم به آواز خواندن علاقه دارد.؛ همه این را میدانستند.؛ در موعظه هایش هر جمله ای میتوانست به یک تکخوانی مبدل شود.؛ حین صحبتهایش، فعلها یا اسامی را، آوازگونه میگفت.؛ انگار در برادوی نمایش اجرا میکرد.؛ در سالهای آخر عمرش، اگر میپرسیدید حالش چطور است، چشمهایش را جمع میکرد، و همچون یک رهبر ارکستر، انگشتش را بالا میآورد، و زیر لب میخواند: «این روحانی پیر، دیگر همچون گذشته ها نیست، ...»؛

پایم را روی پدال ترمز فشار دادم.؛ باید چه میکردم؟ آدم مناسبی برای آنکار نبودم.؛ ایمانم همچون گذشته ها نبود.؛ در آن حال و هوا نبودم.؛ او بود که در مراسم خاکسپاری صحبت میکرد نه من.؛ چه کسی در مراسم خاکسپاری فردی سخنرانی میکند، که خود در مراسم تدفین دیگران سخنرانی کرده و میکند؟ میخواستم طفره بروم، بهانه ای بیاورم.؛ انسان میخواهد از خداوند دوری کند.؛ اما من در مسیر دیگری پیش میرفتم.؛

ملاقات با استاد: از ورودی خانه بالا رفتم، و روی پادری، که دورتادورش را، علف و چمن خشک گرفته بود، پا گذاشتم.؛ زنگ زدم.؛ این هم به نظرم عجیب میآمد.؛ به گمانم فکرش را هم نمیکردم خانه ی یک مرد مقدس زنگ داشته باشد.؛ وقتی به گذشته نگاه میکنم، حتی نمیدانم انتظار چه چیزی را داشتم؛ آنجا یک خانه بود.؛ کجا باید زندگی میکرد؟ در غار؟ حتی اگر انتظار زنگ را هم داشتم، آمادگی دیدن کسی که در را باز کرد اصلاً نداشتم.؛ صندل پایش بود با جوراب و پیراهنِ دکمه دارِ آستین کوتاهش را روی شلوارکش انداخته بود.؛ همیشه استاد را با کت و شلوار و یک ردای بلند دیده بودم.؛ وقتی نوجوان بودیم، او را با آن اسم صدا میزدیم.؛ «استاد.»؛ یک جورهایی شبیه ابرقهرمان.؛ راک.؛ هالک.؛ استاد.؛

همانطور که گفتم در آن زمان با ابهت و با صلابت بود، و بلندقد و جدی، با گونه هایی پهن، و ابروها و موهایی پرپشت و مشکی.؛ با گشاده رویی گفت: «سسسسلللام مرد جوان.»؛ گفتم، اوه، سلام.؛ سعی میکردم به او خیره نشوم.؛ از نزدیک لاغرتر و ضعیفتر به نظر میآمد.؛ بازوهای لخت و عریانش نحیف بود، و آویزان، و لکه لکه های کهولت سن را میشد در آنها دید.؛ عینک قاب بزرگش، روی بینی اش بود، و پشت سر هم پلک میزد، انگار میخواست تمرکز کند اما نمیتوانست، همچون عالمی سالخورده، که در هنگام پوشیدن لباس مزاحمش بشوند.؛

با آواز گفت: «وااااارررد شو.؛ و حالا وااااارررد میشود.»؛ موهای جوگندمی اش را از کنار باز کرده بود، و ریشهای پروفسوری سفید و مشکی اش یک دست اصلاح شده بود، گرچه چند نقطه هم به چشمم خورد، که ظاهراً فراموش کرده بود خوب بتراشد.؛ آرام آرام در راهرو به راه افتاد، من هم دنبالش رفتم.؛ به پاهای استخوانیش نگاه میکردم، و آرام آرام قدم برمیداشتم، تا به او نخورم.؛ چطور میتوانم احساسم را در آن روز توصیف کنم؟ در کتاب اشعیاء نبی، به متنی برخوردم که در آن خداوند میفرماید: «آنچه من میپندارم، با افکار تو یکسان نیست، و طریق تو طریق من نیست، و از آنجایی که آسمانها از زمین بلند مرتبه تر است، طریق من از طریق شما عالی مرتبه تر است، و آنچه من میپندارم عالی مرتبه تر از اندیشه های شماست.»؛ انتظار چنین احساسی را داشتم؛ پستتر و بی ارزشتر.؛ اشعیاء نبی، یکی از پیام آوران خدا بود.؛ باید سرم را بلند میکردم، درست است؟ در عوض همچون کودکان پشت سر پیرمردی جوراب و صندل به پا قدم برمیداشتم، و فقط به این فکر میکردم، که چقدر مضحک به نظر میآید.»؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 19/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,847 reviews16.3k followers
July 24, 2017
The thing about Mitch is that he is ever so much too syrupy, almost but not quite dripping from the page.

Not overly melodramatic, or too nostalgic or sentimental, not even really distasteful, I like his writing, but just a little too much. Like a glass of sweet tea that is just too full of sugar, needs a good squirt of lemon to knock it down a bit.

Having said that, I like Albom and his writing. I like that he's a baseball fan. He's worldly, observant and funny - he's a sportswriter after all, like James Wood without the edge.

I liked this better than The Five People You Meet in Heaven. This was real, approachable and thoughtful. I thought of Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture and several people I know from my little bit of mission work. It's a good book.

Profile Image for Nancy.
289 reviews3 followers
August 25, 2013
I assumed this would be a typical Mitch Albom book, sentimental with "profound" life advice. I feel like it's un-American not to read these short best selling books about finding what ever it is he is selling. I was correct. But I had forgotten how his simple story telling can get to your soul; the real reason these books are so successful. This one doesn’t disappoint. To me it was much less about the two men he learns from and more about his insight into himself. Maybe it’s because we are so close in age with similar family upbringings that this hits me in the gut or because for me it’s an interesting look into the mind of a man hitting mid-life and the things he is still learning. (Something a woman rarely sees from the inside out) Either way, for the few hours it will take you to get through it, I recommend it for all.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
3,946 reviews2,171 followers
September 7, 2021
This little book has lots to say. And it says so with elaborating a life we all seem to know but we don't.

This is the story of a local pastor who has had a difficult, tragic life who wanted the author to write his eulogy.

What I have learnt while reading this book is that we judge too soon even before trying to know someone. We think we know them from the assumptions we have.

The book offers no strict discussions or arguments on which faith to follow or which is better and such. I really appreciate this.

There are so many moments in the story which make you realise how ignorant we are regarding different faith and religions.

Ultimately, what matters the most is humanity.

Trigger warnings for substance abuse, loss of family, violence

Take your time if you pick up this book.
Profile Image for Fereshteh Khanzad.
85 reviews41 followers
June 29, 2019
مشرق و مغرب ار روم ور سوي آسمان شوم

نيست نشان زندگي تا نرسد نشان تو

از متن کتاب:
فکر می کردم همه چیز را می دانم. فرد "زیرکی" بودم که "کارها را خوب انجام می دهد" و بنابراین با هر موفقیتی که کسب می کردم میتوانستم بیش تر نگاهی به پایین بیندازم و به آن چه در نظرم احمقانه و ساده می آمد، حتی مذهب به دیده ی تمسخر نگاه کنم.
اما آن شب وقتی به خانه می رفتم، متوجه شدم نه از دیگران بهترم و نه باهوش تر، فقط خوش اقبال تر هستم. و باید شرمنده باشم که فکر می کردم همه چیز را می دانم. باید بگویم می شود تمام دنیا را شناخت و باز در آن گم شد.
انسان های زیادی درد و رنج را تحمل می کنند و هر قدر هم ماهر و زیرک باشند باز می گریند و حسرت می خورند وآزار می بینند، اما به جای کوچک شمردن همه چیز سرشان را بالا می گیرند، کاری که من هم باید می کردم. چون وقتی دنیا تا حد شنیدن صدای نفس خودتان ساکت و بی سرو صدا می شود، همگی می خواهیم آرامش داشته باشیم و عشق و قلبی آرام.

ممنون از نازنینِ مهربونم بابت اشتراک این کتاب💙
Profile Image for Raha.
186 reviews172 followers
December 26, 2017
داشتم فکر می کردم که اگر واقعا قرار بود خدایی وجود داشته باشه ، چه خوب می شد که خدای یهودی ها یا مسیحی ها می بود... مهربون و بخشنده و همون قدر در دسترس و شوخ طبع ! درست بر عکس خدای ما مسلمون ها که همیشه عصبانی و بداخلاقه و بیشتر اوقات سرگرم جمع کردن هیزم واسه جهنمشه که به محض قبض روح شدن بنده هاش هولشون بده تو آتیش جهنننم تا هی بسوزن و زجر بکشن و خدا هم کیف کنه!! جرات هم نداری باهاش دو کلام حرف بزنی ،درد و دل و گله و شکایت که جای خود دارد
جدا از شوخی این کتاب تلنگری بود واسه من که این روزه ها خیلی چیزها رو فراموش کردم و لازمه قبل از دیر شدن یه سر و سامونی بهشون بدم

اگر کسی می خواهد بار خود را برای بهشت ببندد، باید این کار را انجام دهد : لمس همه چیز و نبردن چیزی با خود
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,450 reviews9 followers
May 3, 2015
Several years after Mitch Albom spent his Tuesdays with the famous Morrie, he began spending time with Albert Lewis. Albert was his childhood rabbi, and sometime after Albom stopped going to temple, Albert surprised him with a request that Albert's eulogy be delivered by Albom. Albom didn't feel qualified but obligingly accepted the challenge, provided they became better acquainted. The eight years they spent visiting and talking, along with each of their separate histories, are recounted.

Their time together seemed both precious and profound. Albom asked the wise old rabbi about his life, his marriage and family, and of course his faith. The questions about other religions, their diversities and similarities, and the rabbi's answers brought me some understanding about those things myself. While a short read, it is still pretty deep if you're in the mood to get philosophical or reflective. There was a side story about a ghetto pastor in Detroit too, which was also thought provoking.

The eulogy at the end was a bit anticlimactic. I had planned on needing some Kleenex for it, but because I did not, 1/2 point deducted. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Sheryl.
6 reviews29 followers
March 3, 2011
One word - Amazing!

I'm really glad I chose to get the book. It was a very insightful and thought provoking read for me. Many parts of the book moved me to tears, and I loved the sermons. I could relate them with everyday life! I don't believe in any religion, so I started reading with a little trepidation, afraid it would start talking about converting etc. But boy was I wrong! This book is about faith, not just any specific religion.. but believing in something bigger than yourself. It'll make you rethink about your acts in the future, decisions.. and what life is really all about.
Profile Image for Amy.
893 reviews219 followers
March 6, 2018
I knew this book was on my TBR for a reason. What a gem it was. What a beautiful moving book. I’m so glad the autobiography challenge gave me the opportunity to read it. As they say, timing is everything.

Premise: A young man, writer, journalist, and documenter of life journeys, is asked by his childhood rabbi to write his eulogy. Thus begins an 8 year journey where he tries to learn about the man behind the pulpit, and to ask questions about how faith is developed and sustained. During these conversations, and while the author is examining and re-examining his own faith, beliefs, and journey, he meets Reverend Henry Covington. A former drug addict and dealer, convict, thief, adulterer, and every other myriad of sins, at the bottom depth of his pain and treachery and danger, her reaches out to God. This begins a change in Henry that leads his to establish a church in downtown Detroit for the homeless. Reverend Covington finds God and miracles in a dilapidated church where the heat and gas has been shut off. But the homeless live there and dry out there, and slowly a community forms. Mitch Albom traces a journey of finding faith and God with both of these men, and with himself. The book is his journey to answer questions of God and Faith. It’s also a eulogy for a beloved Rabbi, Man of God and Faith, an homage to second chances, to finding God in the most unlikely places. And its his own journey to understand what God and Faith means to him.

This was a beautiful book, and I found it both beautiful and unforgettable.
Profile Image for mohamad jelvani.
201 reviews57 followers
April 25, 2019
نوشته های میچ آلبوم به ویژه این کتاب را میشه در ژانر ادبیات دینی به معنای عام و واقعی کلمه قرار داد
آثاری که گرفتار فرم نیستند و با مخاطب عام ارتباط برقرار می کنند
دارای محتوای غنی هستند
و در عین حال شعاری و یک بعدی هم نیستند
نه مثل ادبیات ترویجی مذاهب خشک و متصلب هست
و نه مثل آثار کوییلو در وادی عرفان و ... غرق میشه
شخصیت ها گرچه یهودی یا مسیحی هستند اما می ت��ان آنها را در لباس مسلمان ها هم تصور کرد
خوندن کتاب امید را با نگاهی دین دارانه انتشار میده
اما خواننده را دچار دلزدگی نمی کنه
به نظر من آثار آلبوم میتونه الگوی مناسبی برای نویسندگان ادبیات دینی داخلی باشه
Profile Image for Mia Prasetya.
400 reviews251 followers
May 13, 2011
Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life." ~Helen Exley

Quote yang sudah pernah saya dengar sebelumnya, kemarin baca lagi dari status updatenya mbak Lita dan quote di atas sangat melukiskan perasaan saya semalam ketika begadang menyelesaikan buku Mitch Albom terbaru Have a Little Faith. Penulis bahkan menyatakan "It is... the most important thing I’ve ever written,” . Di bukunya kali ini Mitch Albom mengajak kita untuk menyelami iman, cinta, toleransi antar umat beragama dengan kalimatnya yang sederhana namun penuh dengan makna. Saya sendiri beberapa kali membaca ulang beberapa paragraf karena begitu indahnya makna yang disampaikan.

Have a Little Faith adalah buku non fiksi yang ditulis dalam kurun waktu 8 tahun, berkisah tentang perjalanan hidup 3 pria - seorang rabi tua, pendeta kulit hitam dengan masa lalu yang kelam serta Mitch Albom sendiri. Mirip dengan Tuesdays with Morrie, buku diawali dengan permintaan Rabi Mitch Albom sedari ia kecil dulu,"Maukah kau menyampaikan eulogi terakhir untukku bila aku mati?" Mitch Albom tentu saja kaget dan tak paham dengan pertanyaan sang Rabi dan balik bertanya mengapa ia yang dipilih? "Karena menurutku kaulah orang yang tepat. Dan kupikir bila tiba waktunya, kau tahu apa yang akan disampaikan."

Paragraf terakhir dari prolog di halaman awal buku :

Ini kisah tentang keyakinan terhadap sesuatu dan dua orang yang sangat berbeda mengajariku tentang cara beriman. Dibutuhkan waktu yang panjang untuk menuliskannya. Penulisannya membuatku mendatangi gereja dan sinagoga, daerah pinggiran dan kota, dan membawaku ke konsep "kita" versus "mereka" yang memecah belah keyakinan di seluruh dunia.

Dan akhirnya kisah ini membawaku ke rumah, ke persemayaman yang dipenuhi orang, ke peti mati dari kayu pinus, ke lubang yang masih kosong. Awalnya adalah sebuah pertanyaan yang kemudian menjadi permintaan terakhir "Maukah kau menyampaikan eulogi untukku?"

Dan sebagaimana dengan keyakinan lainnya, aku merasa sedang dimintai pertolongan, padahal akulah yang sedang ditolong.

Selesai membaca buku ini, saya juga merasa telah ditolong. :)

Mitch Albom akhirnya menyanggupi permintaan Rabi untuk menyampaikan eulogi ketika Rabi meninggal nanti, namun untuk sebuah eulogi, Mitch Albom harus mengenal Rabi lebih jauh, bukan hanya sebatas orang pilihan Tuhan yang berkotbah setiap Minggu, melainkan ia harus mengenal Rabi sebagai manusia biasa. Dan dari sinilah kisah mulai bergulir, secara berkala Mitch mengunjungi Rabi untuk sekedar bertanya dan bercerita.

Suatu kali, saat Rabi di rumah sakit ada lengkingan bayi. "Nah, anak itu mengingatkanku akan sesuatu yang diajarkan tokoh besar kita. Ketika bayi lahir ke dunia, tangannya mengepal bukan?', ujar Rabi sambil mengepalkan tangannya.

"Lalu ketika seseorang yang tua meninggal, bagaimana ia mati? Dengan tangan terbuka. Mengapa? Karena ia telah mendapatkan pelajaran itu". Kemudian ia merentangkan jemarinya lebar-lebar. "Kita tidak dapat membawa apapun."

*ah indahnya, bahkan di saat saya mengetik ulang paragraf di atas dada saya terasa sesak*

Satu lagi paragraf favorit saya di halaman 109.

"Jadi, sudahkah kita menyimpulkan rahasia kebahagiaan?"

"Menurutku begitu."

"Apakah anda akan memberitahu saya?"

"Ya. Siap?"


"Merasa cukup."

"Itu saja?"

"Penuh rasa syukur."

"Itu saja?"

"Atas apa yang kita miliki. Atas cinta yang kita terima. Dan, atas segala yang Tuhan berikan kepada kita."

"Hanya itu?"

Ia menatap mata Mitch Albom, menghela nafas panjang.

"Hanya itu."

Huft. Masih banyak paragraf dan kalimat yang ingin saya bagikan di sini, tapi sepertinya review ini sudah terlalu panjang. So, read it people :) A. Must. Read. Book! Apapun agama anda, buku ini tidak bercerita mengenai agama, melainkan iman dan kecintaan kita terhadap sesama. Buku ini ditutup dengan eulogi Mitch Albom di saat penguburan Rabi, sukses membuat saya mrebes mili.

5 bintang dari saya, sepuluh kalau bisa!

Cover : Cover terbitan Gramedia sama dengan cover buku aslinya. Konsep covernya diilhami oleh kumpulan kliping Rabi yang diikat dengan karet gelang. Nice :)
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
July 8, 2017
My fourth Mitch Albom and he is still to disappoint. Quick read but I found myself still pausing every now and then as I had to digest his words. The writing is Hallmark-card perfect but who hated receiving and reading Hallmark cards? I definitely recall with fondness those years when I used to receive greeting cards on special occasions.

Albom is the guy in the current mainstream writers. His works are all bestsellers and have been translated in many languages, sold in many countries and made into award-winning TV series. They are short, physical books are small and handy with big prints, and full of food thoughts for the soul. It took me awhile to pick this fourth book up though. Why? After the third book, his style seemed to be predictable: some stories about ordinary folks (The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day) and inject the subject of death or dying (The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, Tuesdays with Morrie) and then throw in lots of heart-tugging emotional lines about love and family (The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day) or pepper it with some religious questions about how God works in our lives or the meaning of life (Tuesdays with Morrie).

This book has all those ingredients. It is about a Jewish man, apathetic about religion, asked by his childhood pastor to write the latter's eulogy. The man, the congregate is Mitch Albom himself as this is has "Based on True Story" or so the title of the book says. Albom had to spend 8 years, on-off, spending time with the pastor to prepare his eulogy. There is another pastor, this time a Catholic who used to be an ex-drug addict, that is supposed to provide a bit of a contrast to the Jewish pastor's character but it somehow confused me rather than heightened my interest on this supposedly true story.

Still, one will marvel about the Hallmark-perfect lines that you no longer hear very often in this chaotic, busy world of ours. They have the power to warm your heart and even make you cry if you love those dramatic lines in the movies or telenovelas.

Overall, this is still on okay book. Just like Paolo Coelho and Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Albom is an institution in mainstream writing. Many people love them and I know why.

So, I am still glad to have read another Mitch Albom.
226 reviews110 followers
July 1, 2017
«کمی ایمان داشته داشته باش» اثر میچ آلبوم.
کتاب بر اساس اتفاقات واقعی نوشته شده. همه چیز از زمانی آغاز میشه که کشیش کلیسا از میچ میخواد تا سخنرانی روز خاکسپاریش رو انجام بده و به همین دلیل هم میچ شروع به آشنا شدن با زندگی اون روحانی می کنه. و به معانی جدیدی از ایمان دست پیدا می کنه.

میچ آلبوم نویسنده ی محبوب منه و همیشه کتاباش بنظرم زیبا و خلاقانست. اما این یکی رو که اتفاقا امتیاز بالایی توی گودریدز داشت، خیلی نپسندیدم. به شدت شبیه به کتاب "سه شنبه ها با موری" بود که خب اون هم واسم خیلی جذاب نبود متاسفانه.
Profile Image for Mark John.
3 reviews
March 18, 2013
One of my favorite lines from this book is “No matter which road you decide to take on your life's journey, just make sure God is an intimate part of it”. God gave us the will to choose whether to be good or to be bad, he proved how good He is. Becoming good or bad is always a choice but what we need to remember is God is always there to accept who we are, even though we made sins and troubles from our past, we’re not perfect we all know that and God also know that. Like what is being introduced from the story, Henry Covington a man of God when he was a child, but because of too many circumstances he faced from his childhood, his path went wrong. His mother got jailed when he was 9 years old for shooting his father’s leg, his father died from suffering severe illness, he has too many siblings, he also got jailed when he was 19 for a crime he did not commit, and he saw the worst side of life, because of all those factors he easily learned how to use cigarettes, how to drink alcohol, and the worst thing was he learned how to sell drugs and how to use it. Henry’s past was very stupid to him but after a single night when his life was in danger he requested God to save him and he promised that he will start to change and start a new life. After that night, he started a new chapter of his life, he changed his path and he put God above all, he became a pastor on a church with hole on its roof and he served for his homeless brothers and sisters by giving them home. “God is good all the time” and this book proved that line is true. God accepted Henry despite of all the bad things he made from his past. God don’t judge us based from our past he looks from where we stand now. I hope that people will also do the same thing as what God did, we should not judge others from what they did from their past because God made the word “CHANGE” for us. Remember that there are no permanent things in this world but change; there is always space for us to change for the better.
Profile Image for Friar Stebin John Capuchin.
82 reviews55 followers
March 14, 2018
It is with grace of Jesus we all are saved.
A book that gifted me lot of amazing moments. Wonderfully written about lives. The Jewish Rabbi, Christian Pastor and many more lives. It is a book which can provide you lot of stunning moments. The two rebs of this novel made me think about my own life. To think about past and crying always is the worse thing in our life but this book gives a positive energy to go ahead and do the best in present. Do your best with the present so you may be happy in your future and will be able to achieve the eternal peace which our God has kept for us eternally.
It is a story about a Rabbi who approached Mitch Albom to write his eulogy. The conversation between these two make progress in the story. In between a Christian Pastor Henry whose survival from the drugs to Jesus. His story made the novel too vibrant and in between the works which the pastor is carrying on and through his works many people come to the hope of Christ. In a deteriorating situation how the pastor manages to carry his works more powerfully proves the grace of God. The other side the Old Rabbi taught so many things to this generation. As he is in the brim of death he makes his life so happy and able to achieve a happy death which everyone likes to have in their life. The difficult word in our life “death” proves it so wonderful and with the sight of death how we can go on living. A good book highly recommended for every kind of faithful, even for an atheist…
Profile Image for Sue.
1,315 reviews5 followers
March 11, 2015
I purchased "Have a Little Faith" by Mitch Albom, after receiving a recommendation to read this book.This was such an uplifting novel that I couldn't put down.Such an emotional rollercoaster.I felt so good after reading this novel."Have a little Faith" is a true story nonfiction book that can open your eyes and heart, and allow you to realize how precious life is.It is about believing in something and the two men who taught him how.

The novel centers around three people:Mitch, a jewish man who inter married who no longer had time for religion, and Albert (Reb), a jewish rabbi, and Henry, a pastor of "I am my Brother's Keeper Ministry", an intercity church.The Reb was Mitch's rabbi growing up.Both men play a very important part in Mitch's life.

Albert in the spring of 2000 was eighty two and had made a strange request of Mitch."Will you do my eulogy?." Mitch had agreed to honor his request but wanted to get to know him better.And there starts the journey...

I am very proud to have had the honor of reading this book.Everybody should read this book...and they will never be the same.
Profile Image for Joy D.
1,687 reviews203 followers
February 2, 2019
In this non-fiction, a combination of memoir and biography, the author chronicles portions of the lives of two very different men: one is his family’s rabbi and the other an African American Christian pastor. Rabbi Albert Lewis has asked Albom to write and deliver his eulogy when the time comes. Pastor Henry Covington, after a former life of drugs, crime, and prison, has given his life to Jesus and runs a dilapidated mission in an inner-city section of Detroit. These two intertwined stories inform the author’s own journey to rediscover the faith of his youth.

This book is written in a simple style and it is a quick read. The telling of the two stories feels a bit disjointed. The first relates Albom’s regular visits with “the Reb” to get to know him better so he can adequately portray his life. The second recounts Albom’s interactions with Pastor Covington and the people that attend his Christian homeless shelter, leading him to become what the pastor calls “the first Jewish member of the congregation.” I felt more engaged in the first story than the second, probably due to the author’s long-term connection with the rabbi. Much of the book is oriented toward the philosophies of the two men, but nothing is probed in any depth.

This book does not overwhelm the reader with religious dogma. With very few exceptions, conclusions are left up to the reader. At times it drifts close to saccharine, but it seems to come from a well-intentioned point of view. Themes include the importance of nurturing a spirit of community, the similarities among people of faith regardless of religion, the search to find meaning in life, and the desire to engender more kindness in the world. Recommended to anyone that occasionally likes to ponder spiritual questions.
Profile Image for Owlseyes .
1,634 reviews257 followers
Want to read
December 26, 2018

Just watched the movie. It's about two parallel (real) stories; one on Rabbi Albert L. Lewis; the other on Henry Covington. The sportswriter is the intersecting point. He's been asked an eulogy by the Rabbi; yet, he'll get to know also a former drug-dealer and drug-addict, Henry Covington, now a minister in a Presbyterian, Detroit church, crumbling apart. While collecting data from the Rabbi's life, the sportswriter will witness change in himself.

The church gets rebuilt.
Life takes on a new meaning.

Poignant,... for both those two lives under examination.


Mitch Albom has written, very recently, an interesting article:
"Lady Liberty has her say about The Wall"

In: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/col...
Profile Image for Nicole.
62 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2011
Beautiful book. I love the way Albon brought the two stories of different faiths together. It certainly made me appreciate the little things in life a lot more and also, not sweat the small stuff. It drew me closer to my faith and appreciate and respect faiths of friends and family that are different from mine. After all, we all pray to the same God, we just do it a little differently. If you have questions about your own faith or in faith overall, this book is a must read. It touched on so many issues of today like the struggles in the economy, of faith in our own religion and our country but mostly in how we accept death and how we each look at it. Certainly, my faith grew a lot stronger, although it was fairly strong before reading this book but it also helped me focus more on what is important but also on the things in life that we enjoy and realize that we are not in control of our future or our lives and we must always remember that. If ever I feel my faith in God faltering, I will certainly read this book again and recommend it to family and friends when they are going through the ups and downs in their lives and feel they have no where to turn.
Profile Image for Nastaran.
257 reviews88 followers
June 11, 2016
چیز قشنگی در مورد این کتاب وجود داره و اون اینه که کتاب تجربه خود نویسنده اس، مشابه همون تجربه ی زیباش با موری ...
دوباره فضا همون فضای معلم و شاگردیه... همون فضایی که میچ بدون اینکه حواسش باشه غرقش میشه و و به جایی میرسه که خودش رو شاگرد یه معلم دوست داشتنی میبینه...
وقتی کتاب تموم شد برگشتم به صفحات اول... جایی که میچ میگه:" گمان کردم لطفی از من تقاضا شده است."
و حقیقت این بود لطفی به اون هدیه شده بود...
بعضی آدم ها هستن که وجودشون زیباست... و آلبرت لوئیس این روحانی شوخ طبعی که به مدت هشت سال معلم میچ میشه حقیقتا وجود زیبایی داشت...
و کتاب زیبایی این وجود رو به زیبایی به ت��ویر میکشه...

یه نکته ای بود تو کتاب که خیلی دوستش دارم... و اون مفهومیه که از ایمان توی کتاب ارائه شده...

لذت بردم از خوندن این کتاب...
Profile Image for Karen R.
829 reviews488 followers
December 26, 2015
I had two books left to read this year to meet my Goodreads reading challenge goal of 80 books. So, i pulled this slim book off the shelf. Wow, it packs a punch and turned out to be one of the best books I have read this year. During a time when I find myself questioning my faith, this book was just what my soul needed.
Profile Image for Bahare_kar.
63 reviews10 followers
May 28, 2019
باید بگویم میشود تمام دنیا را شناخت و باز هم در آن گم شد.
Profile Image for Shelah.
171 reviews33 followers
October 30, 2009
Originally posted at Feminist Mormon Housewives.

When I was in Young Women’s, it seemed that whenever our planned Mutual activities fell apart, the go-to Plan B was to pull some Books of Mormon out of a storage closet and have us write our testimonies in them. At that time in my life, I had zero qualms about standing in front of a congregation on Fast Sunday and bearing my testimony, or talking in a fireside about my conversion to the gospel, but for some reason my mind always blanked when it came to writing about my faith. I’d write and it felt stale and unconvincing, like what I was feeling in my heart couldn’t properly be put into words. It was ironic, because one of my most prized possessions at that time was a Book of Mormon that we had gotten from the missionaries at Temple Square, with a neatly-typed, sincere testimony from a beehive-haired little old lady from Northern Utah glued onto the inside cover. I loved reading about her testimony, but I felt like mine lost something in the translation from spoken to written word.

Mitch Albom’s most recent book, Have a Little Faith, is, in a way, the story of his gaining a testimony. He says, “This is a story about believing in something and the two very different men who taught me how.” He starts the story at a point in his life when everything was going well– he had a good relationship with his wife, great kids, and a satisfying and exciting career, but religion had taken a back seat because, well, he didn’t really need it at that point in his life. He went home to New Jersey to visit his parents and ran into the Albert Lewis, known as the Reb, the elderly rabbi of his childhood congregation, who shocked him by asking Albom to give the eulogy at his funeral. Albom was taken aback by the request, saying, “And as is often the case with faith, I thought I was being asked a favor, when in fact I was being given one.” Over the next decade, he came to know the Reb not just as a spiritual leader but as a man, and watched him grow old and eventually die. During the same time, he became close with Henry Covington, a pastor at an inner-city congregation in Detroit whose church ran a homeless shelter that got assistance from Albom’s foundation. Albom intersperses the Reb’s story with his own and with Covington’s, who came to Detroit and found his calling after an early life of crime, drug abuse and incarceration and now works to help change the lives of people who are as he once was, who need someone to have faith in them.

I want to come clean with you: I haven’t been Mitch Albom’s greatest fan. I read Tuesdays with Morrie when it came out years ago, and I cried with the rest of you when Morrie died. But my tears felt forced, like I was crying just because that was what was expected of me when the good professor finally succumbed to ALS. A few years later I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven for a book group and decided it was the worst book I’d ever read– the cheesiest “the circle of our love is more than just a rising sun that sets” kind of speculative spiritualism straight out of Saturday’s Warrior and Star Child combined with the emotional manipulativeness of a Jodi Picoult novel. After that experience, I disparagingly called all small, sentimental, expensive hardcover books (think Richard Paul Evans’s The Christmas Box or Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture) “Mitch Albom books” and avoided them on principle. A few years ago I ordered Jonah Lehrer’s Proust was a Neuroscientist from Amazon. When it arrived in the “Mitch Albom book” format I readjusted my expectations and was shocked to find a challenging, academic book, just in a fancy “gift book for grandma” presentation. The point is, I had some significant prejudices against Albom’s work going into reading Have a Little Faith.

So I was surprised to find that the book wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was pretty good. Albom was at his best when writing about the Reb, the story that felt closest to his heart and his own spiritual center. I wonder if Albom or his publishers felt that sharing another story about his visits with a dying mentor would be too similar to Tuesdays with Morrie. In fact, I had always considered Tuesdays with Morrie to be the story of Albom’s “secular conversion” from a selfish hotshot to a person who looked out for others and their needs. The chapters with Covington, while they help us see Albom’s initial prejudices and his conversion in action, seem almost out of place in the story, like some editor out there wanted the story to be more than just Albom visiting Lewis, so they threw the Covington chapters in as well. I think that the Covington story could have stood on its own, as either another short memoir or a longer article-length piece, but including them in the story with Lewis felt somewhat forced.

Through his relationship with Lewis and Covington, Albom maintains that he’s gained a spiritual conversion as well. But while he writes eloquently about his visits with the Reb and what they awaken within his own heart, and persuasively about seeing past his own mindset in his visits with Covington and his congregation, I think that Albom, like me, is ultimately uncomfortable writing about the faith he now holds dear to his heart. So he, like many of us up on the stand on Fast Sunday, tells stories to highlight experiences instead. And in this case, at least, I think he succeeds.
Profile Image for Matt.
802 reviews
August 7, 2022
Another heart-warming Albom story. I listened to this as an audiobook. I know he's a sports writer from Detroit, but all of his novels deal with death and dying in one form or another.

This one was about him promising his NYC rabbi that he will give his eulogy when the rabbi dies. The story covers the eight years where Albom gets to know him as a person as well as a rabbi. Intertwined with this story is him getting to know a rehabilitated drug addict/dealer turned minister in Detroit's inner city and the work he does for the homeless.

Getting to know the goodness and Godliness of these two men of faith is what makes the story "sing".

If you like Albom's material you will find this a good one to read/listen to.
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