Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review - My Grandfather's Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen

This is my third reading of this most wonderful book!  It won't be my last!

Rachel Naomi Remen speaks to my soul.  Rachel is a very interesting person and though the book is not really a memoir, you certainly come away feeling you know her.  And love her.  She's the granddaughter of a Jewish Rabbi who was driven out of Russia.  She is the daughter of parents she calls Socialistic Atheists.  While she doesn't intimate any personal religious preference, she is deeply spiritual.  Her spirituality is open mindedly drawn from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Mormonism, Hinduism and life!

She has taught me that every moment is an opportunity to learn, to grow and to bless life; our own and that of others.  She is obviously masterful at doing this and by example freely shares her talent.  I am a better person for having read her book, every single time I read it.

Rachel, unlike so many "gurus" these days, isn't about platitudes and quick fixes.  Her stories are read, gritty (often dealing with death or impending death), yet they are loftily inspiring and accessible.  She was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of sixteen.  Surgery after surgery eventually resulted in the removal of her colon.  Despite that she became a pediatrician.  Later, realizing that she wanted to treat the whole person instead of just the ailing body of her patients, she leapt blindly into a new discipline of a much more whole person medicine.  Not with a mind to challenge conventional medicine, but rather to change it.  She has been influential in doing so.

Life has it's grief and difficulty.  If you are dealing with such things, this book will be a profound blessing to you.  It most certainly has been for me.  It was recommended to me by my own Physician and has been the most important thing he ever did for my emotional, spiritual and physical health.  Legion are the ways I have shared Rachel's light with those around me. Though she wouldn't know me from Adam, I am pleased to call her my friend.


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