Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World

A book from Jewish Lights, SkyLight Paths’ sister imprint

Through healing, brokenness can become a source of hope and blessing. This wise and helpful guide traces the path of suffering from despair to depression to desperation to the turning point where suffering can be transformed into blessing.

Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz with Erica Shapiro Taylor
Foreword by Abraham J. Twerski, MD

6 x 9, 208 pp | 978-1-58023-436-8

Click below to purchase


  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Indie Bound


  • kindle
  • nook
  • itunes

The suffering that brings you to despair and even desperation can—with healing—become a source of hope, purpose and blessing.

Are you: Feeling anxious? Feeling depressed because of the loss of health, a relationship or a job? Grieving the loss of a loved one? Grieving loss by a suicide? Feeling hopeless? Concerned about a friend who has suicidal thoughts?

This wise and helpful guide explores the nature of personal suffering and brokenness and the potential for personal crisis as a source of strength and renewal instead of despair and death. Examining the personal journeys of biblical and historical figures such as Moses, Maimonides, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Buber—as well as the author’s own personal experience with despair—it looks at brokenness as an inescapable element of the human condition. It traces the path of suffering from despair to depression to desperation to the turning point—healing—when first-hand knowledge of suffering can be transformed into blessing.

“Can help readers in pain move from a life of deep suffering to one of healing and purpose.”

Jewish Book World

“A deft blend of the personal and the theological, a book to lift souls and even to save lives.”

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

“Wisdom of the heart and of the head…. A book for those who struggle with depression, and for those who live with those who struggle with depression. In short, for many, many of us.”

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author, A Code of Jewish Ethics and Jewish Literacy

“People of all religions will find both wisdom and practical inspiration here. Highly recommended.”

Library Journal

“Rich with honesty and wisdom…. Gets to the heart of the human experience of prolonged despair and the possibilities for healing. Gentle, learned and insightful … provides kind and solid company for anyone seeking guidance, perspective and hope when the world comes crashing in.”

Rabbi Nancy Flam, co-founder, National Center for Jewish Healing; co-director, Programs, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

“Offers much advice in dealing with [despair] soundly and pro-actively.... An excellent read and a solid gift for those who are dealing with a serious case of the blues.”

Midwest Book Review

“Reminds us that we are not alone, suffering is not new and healing is possible.... Full of useful information.”

Publishers Weekly