Wounds into Wisdom
Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma: New Preface by Author, New Foreword by Gabor Maté, Reading Group and Study Guide
Published by: Monkfish Book Publishing
Imprint: Monkfish Book Publishing
“Wounds into Wisdom is for anyone who has suffered trauma, either directly or in a family whose generational trauma is buried. It helps readers uncover suffering and use it to help others―the final stage of healing. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control what happens next.” —Gloria Steinem
- 2020 Nautilus Book Award—GOLD/Psychology
- 2020 Book Award from the Jewish Women’s Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology
- 2019 Book of the Year Award Finalist in Religion and Self-Help categories
In this book, Tirzah Firestone brings to life the profound impact of protracted historical trauma through the compelling narratives of Israeli terror victims, Holocaust survivors, and those whose lives were marred by racial persecution and displacement. The tragic story of Firestone’s own family lays the groundwork for these revealing testimonies of recovery, forgiveness, and moral leadership.
Throughout, Firestone interweaves their voices with neuroscientific and psychological findings, as well as relevant and inspiring Jewish teachings. Seven principles emerge from these wise narratives―powerful prescriptive tools that speak to anyone dealing with the effects of past injury. At the broadest level, these principles are directives for staying morally awake in a world rife with terror.
“If we are ever to transform conflict and bring peace to this wounded world, we will need to understand and address collective and intergenerational trauma. In this illuminating and inspiring book, Rabbi Tirzah Firestone interweaves deeply touching personal stories including her own with keen psychological insights to guide us on a journey of awakening and healing our traumas. Highly recommended!” — William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes and author of Getting to Yes with Yourself
"Culling together a multiplicity of narratives, Firestone offers seven principles focused on facing and transforming family grief into a coherent, powerful sense of agency.” VERDICT Combining religion and self-help, these timely reflections make for comforting reading." —Library Journal, Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Lib., Pittsburgh
“…both a labor of love as well as an intellectual tour de force…Rabbi Firestone teaches us how to listen, to ourselves and to others. Her book should be read by everyone who wishes personal healing and the healing of this traumatized world.” — Tikkun
“The power of this book is in the stories she relates of people who’ve suffered extreme pain, faced it head-on, and found a path to healing. The stories soften our hearts, inspire gratitude and compassion for our fellow humans, and give us the tools to make sure the train of trauma goes no further.” — Sara Davidson, N.Y. Times best-selling author of The December Project, Loose Change, and Joan: 40 years of life, loss, and friendship with Joan Didion
“This is the book of the decade!” —Dr. Pat, The Dr. Pat Show: Talk Radio to Thrive By!
“A very important book. Rabbi Tirzah is a wounded healer. She uses the tale her own trauma in a Holocaust survivor family as a stepping-stone toward understanding survivor stories told by a wide variety of Jews, including many Israelis. But she then broadens the lens, showing how these very particularistic tales of personal struggle and healing may help people of many cultures to deal with legacies of exile and loss. A narrative of deep empathy and much wisdom.” — Professor Art Green, Founding Dean of Hebrew College, Boston and author of Judaism’s Ten Best Ideas, Radical Judaism, and numerous additional titles
“Wounds into Wisdom is a tour de force! Rabbi Firestone has woven together threads of truth about trauma that include her own family’s life-experience of trauma inherited from the Holocaust, the new science of the inherited effects of trauma on genetic material and on the brain, studies of the social impact of traumatic events on large groups of people, and the mystical traditions of Kabbalah about the wounded human soul. She has woven these threads into a shimmering shawl of healing.” — Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center and author of Godwrestling—Round 2, among 23 other books on religious exploration and public policy
“If tragedy haunts your life or the lives of those who love—read this book; it has the potential to change everything.” — Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Minyan, and Judaism without Tribalism
“Wounds into Wisdom is for anyone who has suffered trauma, either directly or in a family whose generational trauma is buried. It helps readers uncover suffering and use it to help others―the final stage of healing. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control what happens next.” — Gloria Steinem
“Wounds into Wisdom deserves as wide a readership as possible. The tragic story of Firestone's own family lays the groundwork for revealing testimonies of recovery, forgiveness, and moral leadership.” — Alden Solovy, Wisconsin Bookwatch