Living with Our Dead

ebook On Loss and Consolation

By Delphine Horvilleur

cover image of Living with Our Dead

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A timely, powerful reflection on our relationship to death and an invitation to accept loss and vulnerability as essential and enriching parts of life, from France's most prominent female rabbi and a leading intellectual.

The New York Times describes Delphine Horvilleur as "the rare intellectual to bring religious texts into the public square," and, as one of only five female rabbis in France, unique in that she "calls for a plurality of religious voices in interpreting holy texts."

Living with Our Dead is a profoundly humanist, universal, and hopeful book that celebrates life, love, memory, and the power of storytelling to inspire and sustain us.

In this moving book by the leader of France's Liberal Jewish Movement, Delphine Horvilleur recounts eleven stories of loss, mourning, and consolation, collected during the years she has spent caring for the dying and their loved ones.

From Elsa Cayat, the psychologist and Charlie Hebdo columnist killed in the 2015 terrorist attack, to Simone Veil and Marceline Loridan, "the girls of Birkenau"; from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated in 1995, to Myriam, a New Yorker obsessed with planning her own funeral, to the author friend's Ariane and her struggle with terminal illness. In telling these stories and her own relationship to them, Horvilleur addresses death and dying with intelligence, humor, and compassion. Rejecting the contemporary tendency to banish death from our thoughts and discourse, she encourages us to embrace its presence as a fundamental part of life.

Living with Our Dead