Sec­ond Chances: Trans­form­ing Bit­ter­ness to Hope and the Sto­ry of Ruth

Rab­bi Levi Meier
  • Review
By – July 16, 2012

This slen­der, enchant­i­ng book by Rab­bi Levi Meier retells the sto­ry from the Book of Ruth, and shows how its lessons can be applied to liv­ing a joy­ful and com­pas­sion­ate life today. Although the Book of Ruth is read on Shavout, the fes­ti­val com­mem­o­rat­ing the accep­tance of the Torah at Mount Sinai, many of the lessons found inside this pas­sion­ate sto­ry speak to chessed. (lov­ingkind­ness) Rab­bi Meier exam­ines the sto­ry of Ruth and applies its prin­ci­ples using anec­dotes from clients he has encoun­tered in his role as a rab­bi and a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. By look­ing at who we are with­in the con­text of this most inspir­ing bib­li­cal sto­ry, our own atti­tudes can change, and new pat­terns of thought and behav­ior can emerge, enabling us to lead rich­er and more mean­ing­ful lives. By chang­ing to achieve these ends, we are giv­en what Rab­bi Meier describes as sec­ond chances. 

Well-craft­ed and acces­si­ble, Sec­ond Chances offers deep spir­i­tu­al insight com­bined with prac­ti­cal wis­dom. This is a book that will be appre­ci­at­ed by any­one inter­est­ed in indi­vid­ual change as it relates to the prin­ci­ples of the Torah.

Bar­bara S. Cohen is a tri­al attor­ney in Los Ange­les who spe­cial­izes in child abuse cas­es. She is a mem­ber of NAMI and a sup­port­er of NARSAD, and is an advo­cate for those who suf­fer from men­tal illness.

Discussion Questions