This is Real and You Are Com­plete­ly Unpre­pared: The Days of Awe as a Jour­ney of Transformation

  • From the Publisher
September 6, 2018
There are times in life when we are caught utter­ly unpre­pared: a death in the fam­i­ly, the end of a rela­tion­ship, a health cri­sis. These are the times when the sol­id ground we thought we stood on dis­ap­pears beneath our feet, leav­ing us reel­ing and heart­bro­ken, as we stum­ble back to our faith.

The Days of Awe encom­pass the weeks pre­ced­ing Rosh Hashanah up to Yom Kip­pur, a peri­od in which Jews take part in a series of rit­u­als and prayers that reen­act the jour­ney of the soul through the world from birth to death. This is a peri­od of con­tem­pla­tion and repen­tance, com­pa­ra­ble to Lent and Ramadan. Yet, for Rab­bi Alan Lew, the real pur­pose of this annu­al pas­sage is for us to expe­ri­ence bro­ken­heart­ed­ness and open our heart to God.

In This is Real and You Are Com­plete­ly Unpre­pared, Lew has marked out a jour­ney of sev­en dis­tinct stages, one that draws on these rit­u­als to awak­en our soul and whol­ly trans­form us. Weav­ing togeth­er Torah read­ings, Bud­dhist para­bles, Jew­ish fables and sto­ries from his own life, Lew lays bare the mean­ings of this ancient Jew­ish pas­sage. He reveals the path from ter­ror to accep­tance, con­fu­sion to clar­i­ty, doubt to belief, and from com­pla­cen­cy to awe.

In the tra­di­tion of When Bad Things Hap­pen to Good Peo­ple, This Is Real And You Are Com­plete­ly Unpre­pared enables believ­ers of all faiths to recon­nect to their faith with a pas­sion and inti­ma­cy that will res­onate through­out the year.

Discussion Questions