OU Press Publishes “To Mourn a Child: Jewish Responses to Neonatal and Childhood Death”

April 23, 2013

OU PRESS PUBLISHES “TO MOURN A CHILD: JEWISH RESPONSES TO NEONATAL AND CHILDHOOD DEATH” EDITED BY JEFFREY SAKS AND JOEL B. WOLOWELSKY

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OU Press | Jewish Educational Publications, the publishing division of the Orthodox Union, announces the publication of To Mourn a Child: Jewish Responses to Neonatal and Childhood Death, edited by the prominent educators, Rabbi Jeffrey Saks and Dr. Joel B. Wolowelsky.

In the realm of human experience, the death of a child is surely one of the most emotionally wrenching events. In To Mourn a Child, Rabbi Saks and Dr. Wolowelsky have assembled an anthology which consists primarily of personal accounts written by parents and other family members who experienced this devastating loss. In addition, there are essays by rabbis and healthcare professionals and selections from traditional Jewish sources.

Many currents flow through the book: theological and philosophical quandaries; psychological and emotional stresses that beset parents, siblings, and friends; halachic (Jewish law) analysis that strives to combine sensitivity with fidelity to tradition; and, ultimately, inspiring expressions of courage and the indomitable will to accept God’s inscrutable judgment.

Parents do the impossible as they give expression to unspeakable pain with eloquence, profundity, and raw honesty. Each personal account chronicles a story of heartbreak and healing, helplessness and heroism. These are turbulent pieces, as the parents describe the roller coaster of emotions, the bottomless grief, and the eventual coming to terms with the inevitable. Each story is moving, each tragedy is unique. Collectively, they help us imagine the unimaginable.

To Mourn a Child is not an easy book to read, but once you start, it will be hard for you to put it down as you are drawn in by each deeply personal narrative. Written by ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, these selections are eloquent testimony to the strength of the human spirit and the redemptive power of Judaism.

To Mourn a Child is the latest publication from OU Press. Emphasizing books that demonstrate the sensitivity and insight contained within Jewish thought and ritual, OU Press has recently published Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe by Dr. Erica Brown, and The Mind of the Mourner: Individual and Community in Jewish Mourning by Dr. Joel B. Wolowelsky. Recent publications also include Vision of the Prophet and Counsel from the Elders, featuring the insights of Rabbi Hayyim Angel on the Prophets and Writings.

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