THE BEAUTY OF WHAT REMAINS How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift
This month, Rabbi Steve Leder of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, one of the world’s largest Jewish congregations, is releasing a book titled The Beauty of What Remains (Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House). At a time of crisis, loss, and challenges, the book provides commentary on the incredible power of grief and loss—and its ability to help us grow.
In his role as senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Rabbi Leder has presided over more than a thousand funerals, guiding families across the Los Angeles Jewish community during times of grief. Rabbi Leder thought he knew how to cope with death—until his father died. It was then that Steve Leder the Rabbi became Steve Leder the son, facing his own experience of love, regret, and pain in a more personal and intimate way than ever before. What he discovered was life changing: in death, we do not lose—we gain more than we ever imagined. In this timely book, he draws from both his experience as Steve Leder the Rabbi and Stever Leder the son.
The Beauty of What Remains is a deeply moving and inspiring narrative that takes us on the journey of loss and grief, revealing our humanity and what unites us. Only then do we learn the beauty of what remains. In 2021, for the first time, we have seen a tragic and record-breaking number of more than 4,000 deaths in a single day in the United States from COVID-19. Funerals are conducted without extended family or friends. Mourning during the shiva period often occurs over Zoom instead of in person. Synagogues remain closed as they continue to follow safety protocols. This book could not be more needed.
“Understanding death—its rituals, its lessons, its gift to reshape love through memory, its grief, its powerful reminder that it is not what but who we have that matters—gives our lives exquisite meaning,” said Rabbi Leder. Drawing on Jewish wisdom, personal reflections, and heart-warming stories, he brings the reader into a conversation about what is important and urges us to live more meaningful lives.
This comforting book takes us on a quest through the grief that is fundamental to everyone. In an uncertain time when many are reassessing priorities and day-to-day lives in the face of fear and death, this book is a reminder of what truly matters.
In these pages, we encounter both Steve the Rabbi and Steve the Son. As a rabbi, he shares traditions from the Jewish faith and tells stories from the many bedsides he has attended. While Steve Leder the Rabbi was not fully prepared for the passing of his own father, Steve Leder the Son learned how loss makes life beautiful by opening us up to love that we had not felt before.
The Beauty of What Remains is a heartfelt narrative filled with laughter and tears, the wisdom of millennia and modernity, and ultimately, an acknowledgment of the profound truth that if we can understand death and loss, we can learn how to truly live. To purchase the book, visit: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/623578/the-beauty-of-what-remains-by-steve-leder/
Advance Praise for The Beauty of What Remains
“Steve Leder’s words are a balm to the soul. The Beauty of What Remainsencourages us to confront our feelings about death head-on, and reminds us not to fear the end of life on Earth, but to embrace what it can teach us while we’re here. Steve’s own stories and experiences are written in that exquisite way that makes it feel as if you’re speaking to a good friend. This book is a must-read”—Mallika Chopra, Author of Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy
“Through numerous recollections of conversing with the dying, Rabbi Steve Leder takes the reader on a transformational journey providing insights and caring support in releasing all fear of death to really living a meaningful life. I highly recommend this book, particularly for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one”—Anita Moorjani, New York Times bestselling author of Dying To Be Me and What If This Is Heaven
About the Author
Steve Leder is the senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles and the author of The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, More Money Than God, and the bestsellerMore Beautiful Than Before.
He received his degree in writing from Northwestern University and spent time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, before receiving a master’s degree in Hebrew letters in 1986, and rabbinical ordination in 1987, from Hebrew Union College.
Originally from Minneapolis, he lives in Los Angeles with his family.
New York Jewish Guide