Naomi Levy saw her dream, her dreams, come true. As a child she dreamed of being a rabbi—even if, as she was told, "Girls can't be rabbis." She graduated from a Conservative rabbinical seminary, a member of the first entering class with women members. Like many young women, she dreamed of a soul-mate husband and a family. Rob Eshman appeared, as shortly, did Adi and then Noa. The family prospered, the career took off. Life was good.
One thing Levy preached and Levy lived: don't wait for life to begin when fill-in-the blank (get the degree, get married, lose weight, gain weight) happens. Life is here. Live now. Then Levy's own dream-life ended. Her world crashed one Sabbath evening when a doctor called and callously announced that five-year-old daughter Noa had a degenerative and eventually fatal disease. Even though this death sentence was later commuted to a wait-and-see, it-could-be-something-else probation, life for the family changed forever. Especially for Levy, life changed.
Now she was one of the people who need help. One of the people waiting for something to happen. Her child became her career. Treatments, therapies, time in the car, time in the waiting room. The dream was a nightmare, pulling down not only Levy but her family.
Have faith! Naomi did—hers wasn't lost; it was misplaced. Through the help of her family, a study partner, and the memory of the strong religious background her father instilled, she found it, realizing "things get better."
In Hope Will Find You, Levy recounts the journey to the better place—it was, and is not a straight road but a curving, unfolding and sometimes rocky one. Honestly, and with the support of her family (daughter Noa named the book), she tells how she did not solve all of her problems—some may be insoluble—but she did regain her life. She strengthens her own story with those of others she has known and helped.
Levy's strong rabbinical training, counseling skills, and engaging writing style make this a book worth reading. Who will welcome it? Families who share the agony of a child in need and in pain? They need it. People who share the Jewish faith? Absolutely. Anyone who has had a door, any door, slam in her face? She'll find help here. Appreciators of good writing and human understanding? Yes, for sure.
I recommend this book highly for all of them. And who among us hasn't been in one of those groups? Heard a door slam? We all can learn The Lesson of the Waiting Room. "You can even find grace in the wilderness."
Naomi Levy is the author of To Begin Again and Talking to God. The founder and leader of Nashuva, a Jewish Spiritual movement, she lives with her husband, two children, two dogs, three chickens, and two goats in Venice, California. Visit her website.
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