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The Broken and the Whole: Discovering Joy after Heartbreak

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A wise, uplifting memoir about a rabbi’s search for understanding and his discovery of hope and joy after his young son suffered a catastrophic brain-stem stroke: “Deeply moving, extraordinarily thought-provoking, and entirely humane” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

As a young, ambitious rabbi at one of New York’s largest synagogues, Charles Sherman had high expectations
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Scribner
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J L's Bibliomania
In early September the blog Zeh Lezeh (For One Another), which focuses primarily on disability and inclusion advocacy in the Jewish community, published a entry by Rabbi Charles S. Sherman about his son Eyal, who suffered a stroke after childhood surgery to remove a benign tumor from his brain stem. I think I had also seen an article in the local Jewish newspaper about Eyal and Rabbi Sherman's 2014 book The Broken and the Whole. I was looking for something suitably Jewish to read on Yom Kippur, ...more
Emjay Luby
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a moving memoir of a family who sacrificed greatly to care for and nourish their severely handicapped son, Eyal. Although he could move nothing more than his mouth (he couldn't speak) and required around-the-clock care, his parents, Rabbi Charles and Leah Sherman, helped him to experience life to the fullest. He went to school, to malls and museums, graduated from Syracuse University, attends synagogue, and keeps up with current events. He is an amazing young man (now 32) beca ...more
Rabbi Charles Sherman puts a name and a face to the concept that bad things indeed happen to good people. The Sherman's young son Eyal becomes ill at the age of 4 and after surgery suffers a catastrophic stroke. The stroke leaves Eyal unable to speak, move, feed himself or even breathe on his own. Told that he would not survive, the Sherman's take their son home and begin a courageous journey into discovering who they really are and how strong they are. This book is a *rubber meets the road* typ ...more
Susan Adler
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I often check the new book shelves at the library to see if there is anything in the 296's (Jewish stuff in Dewey land.) Last week I saw one title on the shelf and picked it up. Turned out it was a book by the father of one of Elisabeth's good friends from JTS. Rabbi Charles Sherman has written a small masterpiece. It should take it's rightful place in all Jewish (and human) libraries but I hope it never stays on the shelf for long. It should be read by everyone who lives a life where both bad a ...more
This is Wolf Blitzer's review. I could not agree more. I certainly could not say it better: This is truly an unforgettable and amazing story--heart-wrenching, inspiring, and ultimately reassuring. There's no denying the searing pain of heartbreak but also no denying the strength of the human spirit to carry on. I can't imagine a person that this wonderful book won't touch. I loved reading every page.

~~Wolf Blirzer~~

I was quite grateful to author Charles S. Sherman for insights I gained into the
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moving, touching and a great reminder to always be content and at peace with each moment regardless of what your going through. I hope Eyal is doing well. Truly, we are never alone and God is Great and always with us and hear and answer our Prayers at His time which is the Best for us. He is the All-Knowing while we know not. I wish Rabbi Sherman family well and peace. Your story have shown and inspired me the human spirit and endurance to always be loving and caring for one another regardless o ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbelieveable story of our friend Erez's family. Grab some tissues. ...more
A rabbi relates how taking care of his totally dependent son from the son's age of five with his wife taught him more than seminary school and engaging with others as a rabbi. ...more
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A life affirming story of a family's struggle to care for their severely disabled son, and how they continue to celebrate life in the face of those struggles. ...more
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Book of Hope and Peace
Most of us will face tragedy and trauma in our lives. The Broken and the Whole offers you hope on how not to just survive but how to learn to thrive again. Encouragement abounds and hope follows. This is a well written book that is meant to be read and savored. I read it and sat it down so I could absorb the ideas being shared. May reading this book bring you the peace and joy that reading it brought me. NetGalley and Scribner provided an advanced review copy of this book
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was very personal and uplifting. The author does not sugar coat his feelings in this, making the book real. The book drove home the message that the circumstances of your life at a singular point in time do not have to define everything in your life. You have a choice to go on and adapt.
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