Diane Wilkes's Reviews > Have a Little Faith: a True Story

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
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's review
May 31, 2011

really liked it
Read from May 31 to June 01, 2011

Mitch Albom had been raised as a conservative Jew in South Jersey--he even attended a yeshiva as a youth. But after graduating from Brandeis, he considered himself a man on the rise and a "citizen of the world." His only gesture to his religious background was to attend the High Holy Day services with his parents at their synagogue, the synagogue of his youth. He had never felt the desire or need to seek out a spiritual home in Detroit, where he was now based.

When the now-retired Rabbi comes to hear the author speak and asks him to give his eulogy, Albom, thinking the rabbi is probably going to die soon, acquiesces and decides he needs to get to know him better. What starts out as an attempt to get background information becomes an important relationship that brings Albom back to his Jewish roots to a questioning extent (and questioning is the quintessential Jewish modus operandi).

Meanwhile, Albom starts a hands-on homeless charity, and investigates a once-beautiful but now ramshackle church run by Henry Covington, an ex-addict, as a possible source for beneficence, as they have a homeless "program." Albom is a bit cynical and mistrustful of Covington, having seen a lot of ex-addicts regress to their scamming ways. And the program is anything but traditional--it's about love and trust and acceptance and giving, even if the person being given to is an addict or a thief.

How Albom begins to understand the vertex and the vortex of two very different holy men gives him a "connection" to his own spiritual beliefs and needs.

I read this book from midnight to 2 a.m., unable to stop reading until I was finished. Albom is one of the most accessible writers alive and I never regret reading his work. Recommended.

Updated to note that Henry Covington died last year. I am grieving a man I never met. RIP
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