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Sacred Housekeeping: A Spiritual Memoir

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1477295519
ISBN-10: 1477295518
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harriet Rossetto is the CEO and founder of Los Angeles's renowned nonprofit drug and alcohol treatment organization, Beit T'Shuvah. Harriet received her master's in social work from the University of Minnesota in 1964 and is a much-sought-after speaker in synagogues and community groups as well as a trainer for the National Association of Social Workers. Harriet lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Rabbi Mark Borovitz.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477295518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477295519
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tara on February 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book cover to cover and could not put it down for a minute. There were so many parts that I wanted to stop and go back to, to quote Harriet and post a status on my Facebook of her witty words of wisdom. This story is incredible and while it definitely hit home for me, I know how much everyone and anyone would enjoy this read.
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I will keep this book in my handbag for a long. time. Harriet Rosetto is brilliant in her autobiography. I recently lost my husband, and this book has book a God-send for me. Since I indirectly know her background because I read her husband, Rabbi Mark Borovitz's book Holy Thief, I knew that what she wrote was true. Her stories and connections to Judaism will help anyone who wants to find spirituality or work on their spirituality. Thank you Harriet.
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Truly one of the most inspiring , thoughtful and truthful and honest descriptions of one woman's path to redemption and a guide for anyone who wants to live their true self without addition. A story of spirituality at work whether you are jewish or not.
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Format: Paperback
Harriet Rossetto has written a book autobiographical in nature but in reality it should be categorized as a "road map" for growth and spiritual awakening. As the work opens, Ms. Rossetto, a social worker,could be described as rebel searching for a cause. At its conclusion, we find her as the founder and CEO of a now well recognized rehab facility based on a mixture of twelve step program and faith based therapy. How her passion drives her is the thrust of this transcendental work.

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.
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If you've ever been to Friday night at Beit T'shuvah, there is much in this spiritual memoir that you will recognize. Not just the fact that the Rabbi is an ex-con and a charismatic, larger than life figure. And not just that there is a 12-step gratitude meeting seamlessly and simultaneously going on along with the synagogue service.

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.
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How to do this book justice in a review? I suppose I will try...

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.
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