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More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  474 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Every one of us sooner or later walks through hell. The hell of being hurt, the hell of hurting another. The hell of cancer, the hell of a reluctant, thunking shovel full of earth upon the casket of someone we deeply loved, the hell of betrayal, the hell of betraying, the hell of divorce, the hell of a kid in trouble . . . the hell of knowing that this year, like any year, ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Hay House, Inc.
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  474 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The title caught me off guard so I wanted to read it.

Written by a Rabbi the book is a perspective into how pain, grief and suffering change us.

I came away from the book thinking that the quiet moments at the hospital where I hold hands and dry tears are quite powerful and priceless.
Kecia Newton
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on healing that I have ever read!
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lots to think about in this meditation on grief, loss and suffering. One of the better takes on this subject I’ve read. The author has concrete advice on how to help others who are going through difficulties, and emphasizes the value of true community.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s hard to “rate” a book which consists largely of stories of emotional pain suffered by the author, by his congregants, and by others. By everyone, really, which is a main point — there is no life without suffering. What we make of our suffering is the second focus of this little book. But explaining a reason for pain is not offered, thankfully; rather How to survive it in the best way possible for others. Leder’s volume reminds me of Einstein’s answer to the question, why are we here? Roughl ...more
drea hutchinson
Jun 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Maybe my trauma is such that I have been blinded to the "wisdom" of its infliction. If one more person tries to convince me that there is a positive message to be gained from years of abuse, I'm going start screaming. "When you must, you can"? Such drivel. I survived my childhood, because death doesn't come because you call out to it in the whole of your 5 year old heart. I survived because I didn't know how to end my own life! A glass dropped from 6 stories up, well never be the same glass. It ...more
Jay Vee
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Very easy simple read, yet with profound statements backed up with obvious empathy and years of being witness and holding space to other people's pain. Suffering is universal, and here is a book that can apply to anyone and everyone at some point or another in their lives when they are trying to make sense of that suffering. Victor Frankl said suffering ceases to be suffering when we find a meaning to it or something rather, and that's exactly what this book strives to do. Show us how our suffer ...more
Charles Shapiro
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People concerned with living a full life.
Recommended to Charles by: Eric Shapiro
Can pain be the stimulus for self inspection, reorienting one's priorities, figuring out what is important, caring for the ones we love, and putting our emphasis on now, and not something else? If you are ready to hear this message than this book will be for you. With much emphathy and many stories, old and new, Steve Leder, grabs your innards and does not let go until you get the message: we all have pain at some time, we need to face it, embrace it, understand and have compassion for those who ...more
Lisa M Pizarro
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great insight and love the way it is explained. We can learn from these words as we all hurt at one time or another.
Dawn Lennon
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-improvement
Some books enter our lives when we need them and sometimes before. This is one of those books.

I have read several books that help us get a perspective on life and its challenges and many have been very good. But there is something special about Steve Leder's written voice, his connection with the sufferings of life, his experiences holding others up, and his own context about suffering that makes this book deeply helpful.

There's no argument that suffering is its own teacher, but understanding i
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a gift from a stranger whom I’d never meet before. ( friend of my sisters)
I bought it on my kindle as well as having a hard copy.
Anyone who has lost a love one to death.....
Steve Leder puts words on paper to literally
Pull you through that difficult time.
I’ve re-read the pages over and over.
It shares strong messages that could be imported during these incredible times of Covid-19.
Everyone should read this book..... it puts value on life for the living and perspective for wh
R.J. Perry
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up as part of the research I was doing on a writing project I am working on, but didn't start reading it until a few weeks later after my family learned that my father would not be returning home from the hospital.

Leder offers words of comfort and perspective that help readers of all spiritual backgrounds (or agnostics like me) step back from suffering and find ways to let those experiences shape us into kinder, more compassionate, people. This is not your usual, "God has a re
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a the leader of a large temple in Los Angeles, Rabbi Leder has comforted hundreds of people in their darkest times. He is familiar with how loss can transform lives, and spur new growth in people. When Leder faced his own dark challenges, he became intimately familiar with how people respond to disaster, and offers advice on how to help grieving friends and family. This is a wonderful, optimistic book about love, loss and finding purpose after the fact. "Pain cracks us open," he writes. "It b ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very boring and disappointing.

I thought I would buy two more books. One for my daughter in law who lost her son in an automobile accident. The other to my sister in law and brother, who just lost their son in an accident where he was a pedestrian and was hit by a car and died before they could get to the hospital.
I tried to read the book first to see if it might help them through their grief. But it was so boring, I don't believe they could have read it and I don't believe it would help them g
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A friend recommended this book. I'm always glad when I have a good book to read. Although our trials differ- we were both helped by reading this book. I was amazed that the author, a rabbi, could understand other's loss, and pain when he had not experienced that kind of trauma himself. He had a serious pain- body suffering - which to me is different. I think it must take a special person to be able to empathize with others who are in a different kind of pain. Suffering can transform us for good ...more
Sandra Pomerantz
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

My husband of 26 years is dying a little every day of Alzheimer's disease. When we met I was a bit 'hard boiled' because of what life had done to me, or I should say allowed let happen to me. Through his beautiful ways my outer shell disintegrated and became what I am today. This book has taught me that you too can become beautiful through pain. I feel, that by reading these words made me look inside myself to bring out the true me. Never have I felt this befo
Kim Ringlever
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A grownups' follow-up to "Wonder".

"We are at our best when we are both exalted and brought low. So doubt yourself. Doubt that your side of the story is the only side," the author says.

There is so much to learn from Rabbi Leder: about others, about pain, about ourselves. I don't even think you need to be going through something painful to relate to each chapter. He's teaching how to be a better human. Can't everyone benefit from that?
Bonnie Valles
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On point

I have known loss and this book brings home all of the points of losing someone. It also knows what human pain is and talks about it frankly. If you've never suffered loss in your lifetime, this book will prepare you. It's told from a very empathetic, yet personal point of view. Than you.
Well done.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. Just a beautiful, thoughtful treaties on the benefits that can come from suffering. My attitude has been, if I must suffer ( and suffering comes to all eventually) then I want to grow and learn something from it. I read this book on Kindle, but I’m going to buy a hard copy to add to my library.
Bob Paff
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I lost my son in January of 2019 and have grabbed every book I can read to try and make sense of this. So far this year I’ve read 29 books. While nothing makes sense when we lose a child, Leder’s book helped me to put this chaos and trauma into perspective. As a man of faith, whose faith has been challenged, this book really helped.
Rachel Nabors
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Going through a loss, a grieving of any sort, hits hard. This book is about falling down on your knees, coming to terms with the unfairness of this existence, and rather than despairing, allowing this knowledge to forge a stronger you for tomorrow.

A book that takes its time, doesn’t push religion yet references religion, and openly owns the fallibility of its author... and you.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this Rabbi(author) he was the Rabbi on site at one of the best Jewish camps in the world. He was kind, fair, and made our camp a better place. I have not seen him in over 25 years but reading this book reminded me of all the things I loved about him. Beautifully written and meaningful. Highly recommend!
Good read if you are trying to seek positivity while going through something painful. A little redundant and slow in between, gets a bit preachy as well but some lessons are definitely going to enlighten your mind.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this quickly. The short, anecdotal chapters make it a fairly easy read. Some chapter lagged but some were immensely compelling. In particular, I was moved by the chapter in prayer. Great book — quite inspirational.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I tried to get further into this book but the ideas surrounding suffering were too... generically sappy to me. It read as if Hallmark tried to make a book about suffering. Maybe I will try again... Maybe not.
Melisa Mulder
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely touching book full of stories and life lessons that I will remember always. I underlined and tagged so many pages and know that I will go back to it often. This is a true gem. I highly recommend! 💕
Julie Walsh
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of most meaningful books I've ever read. Anyone who has suffered loss, faced tragedy or been broken will appreciate the wisdom & truth found in its pages. Through healing we find our truest selves & a way forward for life that is more beautiful than before. A true gift! ...more
Lisa Smith
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
"To love and care for someone who is whole is one thing. To love and care for a person when he or she is broken, weak, and afraid is quite another. That is the deepest kind of love; a love discovered only through vulnerability and pain."
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pain. Why?

This is uplifting, enlightening and encouraging. This will and should open your eyes to the possibilities and meaning of your life.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
One of those books that you learn something new from each time you read it.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway! #GoodreadsGiveaway
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When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
87 likes · 16 comments
“Pain diminishes us, and it is so important to remember, in the midst of pain and everything that pain takes from you, that still ... you are enough. You are enough just as you are. You are worthy of love and kindness. You are enough. And you have enough.” 6 likes
“Pain cracks us open. It breaks us. But in the breaking, there is a new kind of wholeness that emerges.” 2 likes
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