Against the Dying of the Light: A Parent's Story of Love, Loss and Hope

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Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004 - Family & Relationships - 152 pages

How a father's struggle to understand his daughter's sudden death becomes an inspiring exploration of life.

The sudden death of a child. A personal tragedy beyond description. The permanent presence of an absence. What can come from it? Raw wisdom and defiant hope.

Leonard Fein probes life's painful injustices in this remarkable personal story. He exposes emotional truths that are revealed when we're forced to confront one of the toughest questions there is: How can we pick up the pieces of our lives and go on to laugh and to love in the aftermath of grievous loss?

Ruthlessly honest, lyrical and wise, Against the Dying of the Light takes the experience of loss beyond the confines of the personal, illuminating the universal meaning and the hope that can be found in the details of grief.


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Soon after his adult daughter's sudden death, Fein, the founder of Moment magazine and author of several books on Judaism in America and Israel (e.g., Where Are We? The Inner Life of American Jews ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Leonard Fein was born in New York City on July 1, 1934. As a child, he contracted polio, which left him with a condition known as post-polio syndrome, characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, spent a year in Israel and then received a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University. He taught in the political science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later taught Jewish studies at Brandeis University. He gave up his academic career to focus on Moment, a magazine he edited and founded with Elie Wiesel. He left the magazine in 1987. He was also a columnist for The Jewish Daily Forward and a contributor to many publications including The New York Times. He founded the charity Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which asked families to contribute 3 percent of the cost of their bar mitzvahs and weddings and distribute the money to groups that fed the hungry of any faith. He also founded the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy, a network of organizations that provide volunteer tutors in schools. He wrote several books including Where Are We? The Inner Life of America's Jews and Against the Dying of the Light: A Parent's Story of Love, Loss and Hope. He died on August 13, 2014 at the age of 80.

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