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A review of Mendel Kalmenson’s book, A Time to Heal, by CH (CPT) Michoel Harari, USA, Fort Riley, Kansas

Author Mendel Kalmenson once again succeeds with a book slim in size, but rich in content and deep in feeling. A Time to Heal: The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Response to Loss and Tragedy presents a clear window into the world of grief and tragedy from the mindset of a man who knew personal and national tragedy from up close, and overcame them all. The window created by Kalmenson allows the reader to look at events and deal with feelings through the positive spiritual paradigm that was the Rebbe’s hallmark. In life, grief and tragedy are universal; but how one deals with them is not. This book puts lofty Jewish ideas and ideals into everyday common language. The subjects are well structured to cover a variety of areas, such as dealing with personal tragedy, helping others through their difficulties, and a response to global disasters.

The book’s approach to loss is sensitive, educational and empowering. A person can use the book both for personal reference material, and just as easily as a teacher’s guide. Unfortunately, personally, I have found too many times that I have called on the information found in the book for my friends, family and soldiers. But fortunately, the wisdom contained within it has been a comfort and way forward for many.

According to our tradition, the consolation text of “May the Omnipresent comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem,” teaches us that the great pain of a single individual or family is shared by the entire nation.

Please know that if you have the need to read A Time to Heal, you are not alone. The Jewish nation is a single unit. Our joys are the joys of our people, our losses are the losses of our nation. We are all in this together. May G-d bless you and your loved ones, and may He bring us the ultimate time of healing, when the prophets promise us, “He will eradicate tears from every face,” with the coming of our righteous Moshiach, speedily in our days.

Originally printed in the July-August 2020 issue of the Jewish American Warrior.