The Jewish Eye
A True Story of Illness, Faith, Humor - and Triumph
By Tzipi Caton
Shaar Press - Distributed by Mesorah Publications, New York: 2008
ISBN 10: 1-4226-0757-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-4226-0757-2
Reviewed by Simon Bonim - July 10, 2008
At a time when most girls are worried more about what to do after they graduate from high school and whether or not they should go to seminary or start looking for a shidduch (match) right away, Tzipi Caton had more weighty worries. At the ripe old age of sixteen, Tzipi was forced to grow up almost overnight when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a form of cancer. Immediately her life went from studying for exams to taking medical tests, seemingly without end, and traipsing from one doctor to another. Perhaps worse was the need to undergo chemotherapy, a treatment that resulted in her having to go sheitel shopping without the joyous prospect of a wedding to follow.
In Miracle Ride, Tzipi chronicles her journey from a carefree teenager, to cancer patient, and her struggle to regain a normal life. Miracle Ride is drawn from the journal she kept as she went through this life changing experience, with an extra 'entry' at the end to let you know what has happened to Tzipi after her triumph over her illness and she stopped writing in her journal. This is a book that might make you cry, but more often than not, it will make you smile, perhaps even giggle, as you share an intimate joke or experience with Tzipi. To my surprise, I actually came away from this book with my spirits uplifted and with a smile on my face. More important, through Tzipi's struggles I found that my faith in Hashem was strengthened.
Tzipi's story is one filled with faith, making the best out of a bad situation, and whenever possible, using humor and her naturally buoyant outlook to not only keep her own spirits up, but also those around her. In addition, this is a book about the strength to be found as a member of a close-knit, Torah-observant family and community. It is also a book that highlights the importance of chessed, and how just a little act of kindness can make a tremendous difference in someone's life, such as a phone call from a random schoolmate who just called to see if Tzipi was ok because she missed classes, a call that meant much more to Tzipi than all the calls she received from her friends.
Miracle Ride is an amazing book, and Tzipi is a courageous and inspirational young woman whose story will remind you just how insignificant your day to day problems might be when compared to the often hidden problems of others. Best of all, through Tzipi's example, you learn how to deal with your 'problems' with grace, humor, and most important, with faith! Without a doubt, Miracle Ride was the most inspirational and heart-warming book that I've read this year and I strongly feel that it should be required reading for men and women of all ages!
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- Mountain Climbers, by Malky Feig.
Inspirational Stories of Real People Overcoming Life's Challenges. Full of faith, wisdom, and compassion, these stories illustrate how real life people have overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their life.
- The Jewish Journaling Book, by Janet Ruth Falon.
A handy and inspirational guidebook on all aspects related to the art and practice of keeping a journal.
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