Ben’oni L’Benyamin: From Sorrow to Strength: My Journey With Depression

by Rabbi Sara Berman (Author), Miriam Berman (Author)

Ben Oni L’Benyamin: From Sorrow to Strength draws from my history of clinical depression and my work as a rabbi in a series of accessible reflections on Jewish traditions through the lens of mental illness. The book explores the holidays and holy days of the Jewish calendar along with select stories from the Torah. By drawing parallels between these important elements of Judaism and the devastating effects depression has on its sufferers, the reader can gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to live with this condition.

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Ben’oni L’Benyamin: From Sorrow to Strength: My Journey With Depression


From Sorrow to Strength also includes my own journal entries, advice and commentary from other people with depression, and my daughter’s firsthand experience witnessing my struggle to provide the reader with a complete and sympathetic portrait of this illness. By sharing my reflections on my personal experience with clinical depression, I hope to help end the stigma of mental illness. I am an ordained rabbi and board-certified chaplain. My earlier publications include a chapter on illness in Walking with Life, an adult curriculum series published by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. I did a chaplaincy residency at UCLA and worked in the Neuropsychiatric Institute as one of my assignments; years later From Sorrow to Strength connects themes of Judaism with the experience of depression by using the Jewish calendar and Torah passages as a guide. This unique yet utterly raw take on a common experience for many Americans could earn it a spot in the self-help, memoir, and religion sections of any bookstore.


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