Living with Our Dead: On Loss and Consolation

Europa Editions. May 2024. 160p. ISBN 9781609457952. $24. SELF-HELP
Horvilleur, a Parisian rabbi and self-proclaimed storyteller, recounts her experience in living and working with the dead. A former medical student, she had her first experience with the dead when she was studying anatomy in Jerusalem. Even then, Horvilleur contemplated the coexistence of life and death, and the stories that can be learned from the dead that accompany them. Her book tells 11 true stories of lives and periods of mourning that she has witnessed or lived through. Horvilleur so beautifully gives life to her dead that readers will feel they had known them personally. In Hebrew, the word for cemetery is “beit chaim,” which translates as “the house of life” or “the house of the living.” What better way to show the Hebrew relationship with death than to tell the stories and celebrate the lives of those who have passed?
VERDICT This book will appeal to readers interested in contemplating the relationship between life and death from an academic or psychological point of view, and those who are interested in a Jewish perspective on death and loss.
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