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Lights from Jerusalem

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Lights from Jerusalem

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Lights from Jerusalem
Stories and Perspectives from the Holy City
By Sara Yoheved Rigler
Artscroll/Shaar Press - Mesorah Publications, New York: 2007
ISBN 10: 1-4226-0567-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-4226-0567-7

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - September 9, 2007

From the author of Holy Woman comes a new book, Lights from Jerusalem. In this wonderfully crafted book, Sara Yoheved Rigler provides thought-provoking stories and insights into the lives and actions of a diverse range of people from a Jerusalem Kabbalist to seventy-five orphan girls in Calcutta. Through these stories, Rigler imparts deep spiritual lessons that are both edifying and spiritually enriching.

The people that Rigler's writes about in this book are people that she has met, and who, in some manner, have touched her life. The book consists of more than fifty chapters, each of which describes a specific incident or meeting with an individual or group of individuals which taught her something - about herself, about faith, about human nature, or which are simply edifying in nature. After describing the given event, Rigler goes on to describe the lessons that she learned from the interaction, and how you can incorporate these same lessons into your life. These chapters are organized thematically, covering topics related to spiritual growth, the Holy Land, contemporary issues, the Holy Days, and great people. She also includes further information on Rebbetzin Chaya Sara Kramer, the tzeddekes that Rigler introduced to the world in her acclaimed book, Holy Woman.

Rigler is a regular contributor to the Aish HaTorah, a kiruv (outreach) website. Much of the material in this book first appeared, in an abbreviated format, on the Aish.com website as part of her regular column that she writes for the site. Rigler's own path to an observant lifestyle was dynamic, and many of the crucial events that led to her spiritual growth are documented in this book, and they serve as encouragement and direction for anyone seeking to do teshuvah (to change your path, or to return) and to engage in a more spiritual and Torah-centric lifestyle.

Lights from Jerusalem is a fascinating book to read. You can read it straight through, or jump around, discovering new insights in mussar (ethics), middos (character traits), Yiddishkeit (Jewishness), and overall spirituality. This is also a wonderful book to share with your friends and family. Rigler's writing is warm, and conversational in nature, and she ably transmits her love of Judaism and her hard earned wisdom through the pages of this emotionally charged and life altering book.


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