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Living a Year of Kaddish: A Memoir
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Living a Year of Kaddish: A Memoir

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Ari Goldman’s exploration of the emotional and spiritual aspects of spending a year in mourning for his father will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one, as he describes how this year affected him as a son, husband, father, and member of his community. Through the daily recitation of kaddish, Goldman discovered that he could connect with and honor his father and h ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Schocken (first published 2003)
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Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
About Ari Goldman's Living a Year of Kaddish, I wouldn't say to non-Jewish readers, "You probably won't appreciate this book." Nor would I say to Jews, "Read this book!" I wouldn't say to readers who haven't lost at least one parent, "The time has not yet come for you to read this book." Nor would I say to anyone who has buried one or both parents, "You really should read this book."

You noticed I'm ambivalent? Would I say that you're right about that? I suppose so. I found Ari Goldman's memoir
Dec 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: libraryread
I checked out this book based on a 50BookChallenge review. As I'm currently working with a hospice client during her last days, I thought a reflection on death and mourning might be helpful.

An Orthodox Jew living in New York City, Ari Goldman lost his father suddenly, the day after his own 50th birthday celebration. As a part of the Jewish mourning ritual, sons of the deceased are expected to say kaddish (a prayer praising God) on a daily basis for 11 months, within a minyan (group of 10 men).
Dec 02, 2008 rated it liked it
In "Living a Year of Kaddish," Ari Goldman recounts his experience mourning his father. In Orthodox Jewish tradition, a relative, usually a child, of the deceased says a daily prayer for eleven months after a death. The book is broken into sections for each season of Goldman's Kaddish, and works together thoughts on death, fathers, religious observance and divorce. Much of it focuses more on people Goldman prays with (the prayers are said in front of a minyan, the quorum of men required for cert ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
(I know: I'm a laugh riot! Bring on the death books!)

I enjoyed this book for the information about the history of the Kaddish prayer and surrounding rituals. A reporter and journalism professor, the author conveys information in an interesting, straightforward way, and he has an instinct for the telling historical anecdote.

As memoir, I found it curiously dry and cold. There seems to be much left unsaid--too much--about his relationships with his father and mother. These people are at the heart
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Goldman's introspective book about a year of mourning and saying kaddish was just what I needed to read this weekend. He wrote about his feelings, coming to grips with mourning, and how a year of ritual and community helped him heal.

At times I cried, other times I laughed, but mostly I related to how Goldman drew on millennia of tradition to help him mourn the loss of his father.

If you need this in your life, I highly recommend a few quiet hours with this book.

May we know no more sorrow.
Michael Lewyn
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
his book describes the author's year of mourning for his father, and focuses on his daily recitation of the Mourner's Kaddish (a Jewish prayer which, even though it never mentions death, has often been treated as a prayer for the dead). The parts of the book I liked best were his description of the more eloquent condolence cards he received, and his description of a letter written to relatives by a dying cousin.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has lost someone.
Recommended to Tamara by: I had read the author before.
Great book! Very much enjoyed it. Reading about different faiths helps you look at your own, and/or provides other ideas to incorporate into your own. My understanding is that there is an eleven month mourning period recognized within the Jewish faith, with them remembered at least daily in corporate prayer. Also the anniversary of their death continues to be remembered and honored. It denotes the sacredness of all of our lives. Quick read! But I'm sure that I will come back to it again.

Rebecca Huston
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book helped me very much during the year after my mother died. Insightful, without being preachy, this is one that should help anyone in the process of mourning the loss of a loved one, whether or not you're Jewish.

For the longer review, please go here:
Isaiah Kallman
In Judaism, Kaddish is an eleven month period of mourning. I read this book to learn more about the functions of the rituals and prayer. While Goldman does give some basic explanation, most of the text focuses on his deceased father and the different men he met at the synagogue.
rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2013
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