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Raising Spirits: Stories of Suffering and Comfort at Death's Door Paperback – August 1, 2010
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"In this gem of a collection of stories about care at the end of life, Rabbi and Chaplain Michael Goldberg restores the spirits of his patients (and readers) as he deftly navigates from the intensive care unit to the nursing home, from a patient's home to their funeral. Across cultures and religious traditions, with steady doses of humility, wisdom, compassion, and humor, Goldberg's words are a healing balm to the often spiritually uncomfortable journey of dying."
Internist and global women's health specialist, author of Aria
"With rare honesty and humility, Rabbi Goldberg welcomes the reader to accompany him into the pain-filled world of patients and families at the edge of life. He overcomes the real world challenges of the hospital or hospice stay to bring a measure of compassion and comfort to those who suffer. Proverbs teaches that, 'The heart alone knows its bitterness.' In truth, Goldberg is that rare individual who understands the pain of another's heart and has the ability to ease that pain."
--Rabbi Sheldon Pennes,
Director of Spiritual Life at the Los Angeles Jewish Home
"This book is not smarmy! The stories are so gripping that you won't want to put them down. Essential reading for all who care for the dying, including their families."
Professor of Christian Philosophy
author of Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?
"These remarkable stories not only reflect the experience of many dying patients, but allow readers to accompany Rabbi Goldberg in his journey of becoming a Chaplain. He reveals his own search through openly sharing his thoughts and feelings. Any Chaplain, caregiver for the dying, or simply a human being on a quest to understand what this life is all about will benefit from reading this book."
--Judith Eighmy, RN, BSN, CHPN
Pacific Healthcare Consultants
"Raising Spirits is a gift to anyone who has been deeply affected by experiences in healthcare. All will irresistibly be reminded of the powerfully clarifying and confusing nature of suffering and death. Michael's pathway from thinker to caregiver might be unremarkable, but for his gift of truth-telling how many of us receive hope and comfort, even though all too often, we simply can't help or understand. That is Grace."
"Poignant and brilliant . . . Raising Spirits is an uncommon resource for practical and pastoral theology and religious education. Be prepared to venture into unfamiliar territory! Rabbi Michael Goldberg, a systematic theologian and a hospital/hospice chaplain, brings intellect, compassion, body and self together as indispensible resources in pastoral ministry . . . Certainly this volume will be a resource for pastors and theologians for years to come."
--Archie Smith Jr.,
The James and Clarice Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling
The Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
"Rabbi Michael Goldberg's book is a moving, illuminating, and very helpful study for pastors, priests, and rabbis as well as for family members who are ministering to patients at the end of their lives. Goldberg himself is an experienced hospital chaplain and an accomplished theologian with a wide experience in this very special ministry which everyone will be involved in sooner or later. This is the best book I know of on this very important subject."
--Owen C. Thomas,
Emeritus Professor of Theology
Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
author of Christian Life and Practice (Cascade Books, 2009) --Wipf and Stock Publishers
About the Author
Rabbi Michael Goldberg is the author of several books, including Jews and Christians, Getting Our Stories Straight (1985), and Why Should Jews Survive? (1996).