Choosing Life

Episode 20 · December 4th, 2018 · 1 hr 3 mins

About this Episode

This special episode was recorded before a live audience at the Reconstructing Judaism convention in November 2018. I interviewed Susan Levine, an extraordinary person and a member of the Board of Governors of Reconstructing Judaism.

Trigger Warning: Susan and I discussed resilience in the aftermath of a suicide attempt. Susan is wise and grounded and deeply reflective, both about her attempts to end her life, and about her decision to live with integrity and beauty afterward. We want listeners to be prepared for what's coming.

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Episode Links

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-8255.
  • Ritualwell: 10 Jewish Resources on Suicide — 10 resources on suicide prevention and response from Ritualwell.
  • Ritualwell: 10 Resources to Inspire Gratitude — Learn more about the importance of gratitude as a source of resilience.
  • Hashivenu: Episode 19: Gratitude — In Episode 19 of Hashivenu, Rabbi Deborah Waxman shares a personal gratitude practice that she has found sustaining in difficult times.
  • Song of the Sabbath (from Kol Haneshamah pp. 734-736) — This Yiddish poem by Kadia Molodowsky, quoted by Rabbi Deborah Waxman during this interview, is here reproduced from the pages of Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim.
  • Congregation Ner Shalom — Congregation Ner Shalom is a Reconstructionist Synagogue in the Santa Rosa area, serving Sonoma and Marin counties.
  • Or Shalom Jewish Community — Or Shalom Jewish Community is San Francisco’s first and only Reconstructionist congregation. We embrace Jewish tradition and values as we encourage questioning and experimentation. We honor spiritual growth through many paths: prayer, music, art, food, reading, studying and working for social justice. We invite you to find your Jewish home at Or Shalom!