From the bestselling author of The Beauty of What Remains, a guide to writing a meaningful letter about your life.
Writing an ethical will, a document that includes stories and reflections about your past, is an ancient tradition. It can include joy and regrets, and ultimately becomes both a way to remember a loved one who is gone and a primer on how to live a better, happier life. Beloved Rabbi Steve Leder has helped thousands of people to write their own ethical wills, and in this intimate book helps us write our own.
Because our culture privileges the material over the spiritual, we sometimes forget that our words carry greater value than any physical thing we can bequeath to our loved ones. Rabbi Leder provides all the right questions and prompts, including: What was your most painful regret and how can your loved ones avoid repeating it? When was a time you led with your heart instead of your head? What did you learn from your biggest failure?
Including examples of ethical wills from a broad range of voices—old and young, with and without children, famous and unknown—For You When I Am Gone inspires readers to examine their own lives and turn them into something beautiful and meaningful for generations to come.
About the Author
Steve Leder is the senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. After receiving his degree in writing and graduating cum laude from Northwestern University, and spending time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Leder received a master’s degree in Hebrew letters in 1986 and rabbinical ordination in 1987 from Hebrew Union College. He is the author of five books: The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul, and the bestsellers More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us, and The Beauty of What Remains.
"The is the book we all need to read. For You When I Am Gone is not only full of wisdom but offers questions and tools that will infuse your life with meaning. Rabbi Steve Leder is one of the great spiritual teachers of our time and this book is his most important to date." –Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief
"Rabbi Leder does it again with another book that looks deep into the taboo topic of death. He challenges the reader in this new book to dig deep into your own vulnerability to give honest answers to the hardest questions in life. Through reading and then answering those questions you learn about yourself, your life, and what you would like to leave behind for your loved ones to know. A must read!" –Amanda Kloots, author of Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero