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In the Grip of Bereavement


Author:  Chaim Licht

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In the Grip of Bereavement

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In the Grip of BereavementIn the Grip of Bereavement
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An Analysis of Ten Aggadic Legends on Bereavement in the World of the Sages

Our daughter Danit passed away on 17 Mar-Cheshvan 5761 (November 15, 2000).
Danit was born on 14 Kislev 5731 (December 12, 1970) and did not live to see her thirtieth birthday. A shy child, modest and smart, she grew and flourished in our home on the moshav, and in our travels for work and various positions in Israel and abroad. When she was about twelve years old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery to have it removed. As a young girl she learned to live under constant medical attention and daily medications, which she followed through on responsibly by herself.
She did not give in, and because of her strong will and perseverance, she completed her high school education, fulfilled her national obligation by serving in Sherut Leumi (the national service program that serves as an alternative to army service), and studied towards a bachelor’s degree in education, diligently and successfully. And we, her family, accompanied her fearfully and lovingly, saw her develop in life and were thankful for her successes.
At the conclusion of her studies she entered the field of education as an elementary school teacher. Quietly and diligently, acting as a role model and dedicating herself to each child, she succeeded in earning the trust of her students and their parents. Her greatest success was in teaching small groups of students, where each one merited her personal attention. Her dedicated work bore fruit, both in the school curriculum and with the supervisors who spoke well of her.
Our home and extended family were her fortress. She revealed the secrets of her heart and allowed all of us to know her inner character, her thoughts, her attitude towards her surroundings near and far. The entire family afforded her respect and praise for her personality, altruistic character, and especially her ability to cope with life.
The sudden illness that overtook her defeated her in a very short time.
Her memory will never leave our hearts. She continues and will always continue to live in us forever.


During the year following his daughter s sudden death as a young adult, Dr. Chaim Licht observed the traditional Jewish mourning practices, yet found that he still had questions about the meaning of his family s experience. As a scholar of Jewish literature, he turned to the literature of the Aggada to explore the responses of the sages to similar situations.He combed the Ma asei Hakhamim, stories of the sages in the aggadic literature, for stories of parental bereavement, and analyzed the responses of the bereaved parents as well as the consolation that was offered to them by others. This collection of stories and Dr. Licht s analyses form a rich and detailed portrait of the traditional views of the Jewish sages on the meaning of and the proper reaction to the death of a child. In the Grip of Bereavement An Analysis of Ten Aggadic legends on Bereavement in The World of The Sages.

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Ships Free? Eligible for Free Shipping
List Price $18.99
Author Chaim Licht
Dimensions 6" x 9"
Publisher Gefen Publishing House

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