Naomi Levy was in the first class to admit women to study for the rabbinate at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. After serving seven years as the first female Conservative rabbi to lead a congregation on the West Coast, she stepped down from the pulpit to raise her two children.

"Sometimes we forget this simple truth: The broken pieces of ourselves are the greatest teachers. It is from them that we learn our strength. It is from them that we learn compassion, wisdom and understanding, devotion, faith, and insight," writes Levy, who had to struggle with the senseless murder of her beloved father when she was 15 and the challenge of starting over after her first marriage ended in divorce. The author shares stories of her congregants who suffered from addiction, loss, rape, or illness, yet were able "to find a way back to hope and joy."

To Begin Again is a lyrical and pensive testament to the healing power of prayer, community, tears, music, solitude, memory, study, and ritual. Those who have suffered can see in the dark and rekindle hope. God has given us these spiritual resources to assist in the process of rebirth. The trip back from loss is a long journey but an edifying one.

Try a Spiritual Practice on Beauty