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on November 16, 2011
Shadows in Winter: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Eitan Fishbane
Syracuse University Press
November 14, 2011
156 pages

Eitan Fishbane is Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of several books, including Shadows in Winter: A Memoir of Love and Loss (Syracuse Library of Modern Jewish Literature) and The Sabbath Soul: Mystical Reflections on the Transformative Power of Holy Time (Jewish Lights Publishing).

Reviewed by: Nancy Carty Lepri

How wonderful to be blessed with the love of your life, a happy and healthy daughter, a fulfilling career, close family and friends, and a deep and abiding faith. How agonizing it can be to lose part of that blessing almost overnight.

This is what Eitan Fishbane describes in his heart wrenching and moving memoir about the loss of his beloved wife, Leah. Leah, who is completing her graduate degree, mother to four-year-old Aderet , and newly pregnant with her second child, falls ill without warning with an undiagnosed and inoperable brain tumor. Within a short time, Leah, a vivacious young woman, collapses into a coma and succumbs to her illness.

Eitan takes the reader on his agonizing journey through the last days of Leah's life, revealing how he copes after her passing. He tries to find understanding for his loss and explain Leah's passing to his precious Aderet , while he himself grapples with the realization of the harsh realities of life and death. Through anecdotes and perceptions uncommon to a young child, Eitan finds comfort from his daughter along with his and Leah's close-knit family, friends, and colleagues.

Though Eitan is well educated in the concepts of his Orthodox Jewish faith, he questions why he and his little girl have to face this tragedy, while struggling to live with their incomprehensible loss. Mr. Fishbane, bares his soul in this poignant memoir, which he penned during Leah's short illness and the year subsequent to her death. As he finds support through his loved ones and strong faith in God, he picks up the shattered pieces of his life, taking one day at a time, learning to accept his grief. Shadows of Winter offers comfort and peace to others who have endured an unspeakable loss.
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on April 18, 2012
I couldnt stop reading it, and I didnt until it was done. The book is filled with such love between a husband and wife and child ... a family. I cried, I smiled, I felt such deep love between the three of them. I had to get a box of kleenex just to finish reading it. Anyone who has lost a loved one, I recommend this book. The passion and love that he has for his wife is rare. The love of his community. I have always found the Jewish Community one of love ... like a really big family the size of a small city. I often wonder why the world in itself isnt more like that. Love/Compassion for one another. It was a privledge to be invited into the life of Eitan Fishbanes life with his beloved wife. From the time they met until the moment she was no longer a part of this world, you read about the deep love they had and how full of life and love and happiness is wife had. Even though her life was short and their life together was even shorter ... I pray that more people get to experience that type of love atleast once in their life.
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