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Publisher's Summary

There are times in life when we are caught utterly unprepared: a death in the family, the end of a relationship, a health crisis. These are the times when the solid ground we thought we stood on disappears beneath our feet, leaving us reeling and heartbroken, as we stumble back to our faith.

The Days of Awe encompass the weeks preceding Rosh Hashanah up to Yom Kippur, a period in which Jews take part in a series of rituals and prayers that reenact the journey of the soul through the world from birth to death. This is a period of contemplation and repentance, comparable to Lent and Ramadan. Yet, for Rabbi Alan Lew, the real purpose of this annual passage is for us to experience brokenheartedness and open our heart to God. In This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared, Lew has marked out a journey of seven distinct stages, one that draws on these rituals to awaken our soul and wholly transform us. Weaving together Torah readings, Buddhist parables, Jewish fables, and stories from his own life, Lew lays bare the meanings of this ancient Jewish passage. He reveals the path from terror to acceptance, confusion to clarity, doubt to belief, and from complacency to awe. 

In the tradition of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, This Is Real And You Are Completely Unprepared enables believers of all faiths to reconnect to their faith with a passion and intimacy that will resonate throughout the year.

©2003 Alan Lew (P)2018 Hachette Audio

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Beautifully written

I recently converted to Judaism and decided to read this book during the month leading to the high holidays. This book has helped me become more comfortable with my impending death and granted me a special appreciation for these holidays that are new to me. Allan Lew pases away some years ago but he has left behind a book that I predict will remain a timeless piece of literature for converts and Jews who rediscover their Judaism.

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Excellent preparation for the High Holy Days

I have been reading this book annually for the at least the last 10 years, in preparation for the High Holy Days. I find it to be my foundation for the reflective work of the days of Awe. Having it available as an audiobook, has made it much more meaningful this year! Excellent performance!

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The only book

The only book you need read for the High Holidays. Every year. It answers all and nothing.

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I bought the book on a whim, simply because I loved the title

One of the best books I’ve ever read/listened to. Ended up buying the print version, too.