The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur allow us to take a transformative journey that can change our lives, in other words to experience teshuva, the mandate that we really can and must change. In this very original work, Erica Brown offers a guidebook for that experience that blends her broad scholarship with her deep personal convictions. She tackles such topics as compassion, destiny, faith, and humility. The result is a volume that takes us beyond ourselves by first taking us into ourselves and virtually guarantees that the effort will be worth our while.
Organized around a day-by-day program of study and reflection, Return provides a trio of writings for each of the ten days: an essay, a group of passages for textual study, and a self-improvement exercise. Mixing the intellectual, the emotional, and the practical in this way enables us to learn, feel, and grow at once. The three experiences are not discrete; because the daily group of writings are carefully chosen, each joins with the others to reinforce the message and make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The result is a dialogue between the text of this very accessible book and our inner self, which enables us to more fully connect with the beauty and mystery of Judaism at the same time that it educates us and brings us to a greater understanding of the Days of Awe.
Brown is known as a leading Jewish thinker, one who stresses character and conviction as highly prized human traits. This book will help promote these traits in those who practice its precepts.
Linda F. Burghardt is a New York-based journalist and author who has contributed commentary, breaking news, and features to major newspapers across the U.S., in addition to having three non-fiction books published. She writes frequently on Jewish topics and is now serving as Scholar-in-Residence at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.