Elana Sztokman's JewFem blog

Elana Maryles Sztokman, PhD, writer, researcher, educator and activist, writing on issues pertaining to gender and Jewish life in Israel and around the world.

Debbie’s soul

Part cancer story, part memoir, part kabbalistic manuscript, ‘Soul to Soul’ is a story about death and dying, but actually it’s about life, relationships, suffering and God.

It is so hard to read a book written by someone who has recently died. The words on the page echo her voice, bringing her whole being to life in your head, behind your eyes, inside your ears.

You forget for a moment that she is no longer in her body. You mistakenly think she is simply elsewhere, in another spot on the planet, while you are holed away, escaping by yourself with her beautiful narrative.

Maybe she’s not really gone, just far away, your mind toys with you. Memories of conversations you had with her over the years morph in your imagination with the story unfolding in the volume open before you. You sense her presence, filling the room, envisage her sitting in the chair across from you, her soft smile lightening the atmosphere.

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