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Sacred Housekeeping: A Spiritual Memoir
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Top Customer Reviews
Within this thirty year journey, there are many pitfalls and paths which the author follows, but from it the cogent reader is compelled to extract words of wisdom and advise which are applicable to everyday living regardless of one's Faith.
The young Rossetto, floundering in her own life, seeks the help of a spiritual adviser and within days responds to a miniscule help wanted ad in the local paper for a social worker to assist with Jewish inmates in local prisons. From this meager beginning springs the vision and passion of a half way house for ex-cons trying to integrate back into society. Along the way, the author embraces the scriptures and finds lessons for living and comfort in the Jewish Bible and traditions. She also finds a husband and partner among the ex-cons. It is a volume, filled with humor and pathos, that underscores redemption and the ability to resurrect ones' life from the ashes of self.
Together this unlikely couple forge a partnership which thrives and causes the little half way house to grow and flourish into a nationally recognized facility. The treatment plan which these two develop, which was scoffed at by many professionals, is now a recognized, accepted and adopted plan in many facilities of varied religious beliefs.Read more ›
But the philosophical essence of Sacred Housekeeping too is repeated during those Friday night services: "Everything Matters" is an original Beit T'shuvah song and "You Matter" is their catchphrase. I didn't realize it as the antidote to one of the Seven Deadly Sin, Acedia, "the refusal to engage with life." Then, "The Fair is in Pomona" is what we are ALL told when we whine about our lot in life--at BTS, it is like a private joke between Rabbi and Harriet which the congregation is let in on. Because we've all heard it--if not from them, then from some other mentor or sponsor!
As you can gather, this book is more than an autobiography. It is a spiritual map of how to be authentic.
"Love is Not a Feeling" is something we as addicts or as parents/spouses of addicts learn as we grow in sobriety and as we grow out of co-dependence. We partner with each other and show our appreciation, and are honest and transparent about our criticisms and frustrations. Work in progress. . .
For me, the chapter "From Generation to Generation" was the one I could really sing along with. In it, Harriet talks about her relationship with her mother and her daughter. She makes peace with the untraditional (disinterested? unmotherly?--I'm with you, Harr!) parent she was (and had) and gives us all permission to come to terms with it in ourselves and in our lives.
When I finished wiping the tears from my eyes, I read the next chapter.Read more ›
THIS BOOK IS WORTH THE READ AND THEN SOME.
Some call Harriet Rossetto the "Jewish Mother Theresa." Even if it weren't for the fact that Harriet Rossetto founded and continues to run a bona-fide miracle factory facility for 25 years devoted to teaching others to live well...even if it weren't for the fact that she has touched and saved thousands of lives deemed hopeless, her story is still such an interesting and intriguing one. This is not a story you would expect from a 75-year old nonprofit CEO...but don't judge a book by a cover, and certainly don't judge Harriet by her 'cover'. Sacred Housekeeping is not a how-to self-help book (as the title might suggest), but it is the inspiring and transparent chronicles of an accomplished woman who has made enough mistakes in her past to really learn from and relay those lessons in a way that everyone can hear it. Her story is relateable to everyone from drug addicts to shopping addicts to hopeless depressives that find strange comfort in staying miserable to men and women who just feel like something is missing from their lives. An intellectual and existentialist who found spirituality through little things like changing her mentality from "why bother?" to making her bed daily, Harriet's mental shifts that she describes in her book are truly things that can touch anyone who reads this to the core.
Her story is not necessarily my story, but in many ways it is. It is mine, it is yours, it is everyone's. There is a little bit of Harriet in everyone. I think there are far more people in the world than we think there are that are constantly torn between seeking the thrill of risky behaviors and doing the socially acceptable, "right" thing to uphold an image.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thisbooks started describing my life.
I'm writting this review late, but I can say that my life wasn't the same. Read more
The author takes spirituality from the amorphic to the tangible. While the majority of the book was uplifting, Ms. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Arlene S. Ford
I enjoyed Harriet's story, but at the end was left wanting for more detail about the program at Beit T'Shuvah, and less about how mad she'd get with Mark. Read morePublished 16 months ago by LightWalker
Wonderful book! So proud to have read it and have lived a lot of itPublished 16 months ago by James Maloney
What a joy this was to read! It is so refreshing to be able to share our imperfect qualities and face them head on to help others!Published 22 months ago by Tamara Holzman
The biggest small book I have ever read besides Sidhartha. A woman who is willing to reveal herself to those of us that try but remain afraid. Read morePublished 24 months ago by elaine r. gordon
We all know people with demons, and have demons of our own. This is a fascinating story of how Ms. Rossetto came to terms with hers and found a path that would lead to so many... Read morePublished on June 8, 2013 by DK
Harriet Rossetto is a remarkable woman with a remarkable story. Beit T'Shuvah is a remarkable institution. Wish there were many more like them both.Published on March 23, 2013 by Marnie