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The Get: A Spiritual Memoir of Divorce Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sentimental memoir of a journey through divorce focuses on the get, the Jewish divorce decree and ceremony. Katch, a Denver social worker, describes the "surgical finality" of its power as one of both hurt and healing. Frightened by her sense of loss and loneliness in the wake of separation from her husband, Katch balks at proceeding with the get until she can no longer stall. Her procrastination stems partly from her feeling that divorce is a "wound in the universe" and partly from the divergent spiritual path her husband takes, immersing himself in an ultra-Orthodox world far from the havurah she attends. Her in-depth description of the ceremony conducted by "black hats," as she calls the ultra-Orthodox community, mirrors her sense of powerlessness: "I suddenly felt as though I were an American citizen alone in Iraq and government officials were walking me down to a dark basement room..." Though she says the get helped her move beyond anger and bitterness, she provides little insight into that transformative process. Katch's simple narrative, often heavy and monotonous, is broken by flashbacks and pointless poem-like asides ("The house where/ all the/ kids/ hung out"). Readers who reach the end of the story, compelled by the hope that Katch will finally free herself from depression (she does), will find poignancy in her decision to recite the kaddish, the mourner's prayer, as a memorial to her marriage.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Elise Edelson Katch is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver, Colorado, specializing in trauma, sexual abuse and divorce. She holds a B.A. in the social sciences and an M.A. in reading education from the University of Colorado, as well as an M.S.W. from the University of Denver. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children has recognized her for outstanding achievement in the field of child abuse and neglect. Elise helped craft the first child-custody guidelines in Colorado, and was the founder and first president of the Colorado Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and apresenter at the Colorado Psychological Association. Often quoted in the print media, Elise has done television interviews both locally and nationally.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Simcha Press (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558749292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558749290
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,246,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you want to read an honest representation of what a divorce and a Get look and feel like, this is your book. It's a quick read and you will have to indulge the author in her attempt at prose on evey other page...let it go.

While the author isn't willing to come right out and say that her ex-husband was a thoughtless pig, I will. This man is a selfish, scheming, faithless and deceitful swine. The day she received her divorce papers, she learned that he was dating one of her closest friends. He then remarried 4 months after the Get and refused to pay for his only child's college education. He cleverly, under the guise of leading a more Orthodox life, dismantled his family for his own amusement. Shame on the Denver Orthodox Community who embraced and supported him throughout the civil dissolution and the Get. Shame on the `black hats' who sat in the room during the Get Ceremony laughing and joking with her soon to be ex. Their behavior infuriated me.

The author does come though it in the end but she is way too often at the mercy of thoughtless, egotistical and retarded men who call themselves `Orthodox', as if G-d would tolerate such behavior. It's a good thing she's in the Social Services/Psychology field and is able to see and deal with her own unhealthy behaviors in a clear way. That's how she gets through. At the end, my only hope is that her husband pays dearly for destroying his family and attempting to destroy the author, Elise. What a jerk.
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