"A Damaged Mirror is a must-read for those wishing to embark on a profound, painful, but ultimately hopeful journey into the human soul."
- Yael Unterman, author of Nehama Leibowitz, Teacher and Bible Scholar and The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longing
"From the horrors of the Birkenau crematoria and the dilemmas of survival that are forever etched in our hearts, to the profound dialogues of Talmudic debate, the authors reach from the past to the present--challenging us to examine ourselves as Jews, and our relation to G-d in a world gone mad." -Chaya Rosen, Of the Book, the Jewish Press Book Supplement
From the Author
It is a story of recovery from trauma, of guilt and atonement, of the preservation of memory.... But most of all, it is a story of God-wrestling in the timeless tradition of Ya'akov's wrestling match with an un-named and un-namable entity on the banks of the Yabbok river. We've all crossed that river at one time or another, and most of us have wished we had some name to give to what we faced there. But, like Ya'akov's opponent, the apparition vanishes in the light of reason, leaving us both wounded and blessed...and forever changed.
My own experience forms part of the story, but the main voice is Ovadya's from beginning to end. His was the story that needed to be told, and his voice best conveys what it's like to live with traumatic memory, with its odd juxtapositions of past and future. That sense comes through in the very language that Ovadya uses to describe his experience. He begins to tell and suddenly "was" gives way to "is"; "there" becomes "here".
There is no way out of that loop, other than through it and out the other side. For Ovadya, this meant taking his case to a rabbi to judge, and the story of what happened as a result forms the bulk of the book.
That search for justice and atonement was his path to healing. Telling his story was mine.