Reaching for Comfort

What I Saw, What I Learned, and How I Blew it Training as a Pastoral Counselor

by Sherri Mandell


In stock (can be backordered)

About this book

In 2004, Sherri Mandell won the National Jewish Book award for The Blessing of the Broken Heart, which told of her grief and initial mourning after her 13-year-old son Koby was brutally murdered.

Years later, with her pain still undiminished, Sherri trained to help others as a pastoral counselor, one of the first in Israel’s hospitals.

Could a stranger offer comfort to patients and their families in the face of cancer? Could Sherri find comfort by comforting others?

This book is the moving memoir of an experience that was at turns painful, awkward, and funny, but always enriching.

Advance Praise

Sherri Mandell has done it again with this deeply personal and profoundly moving book about caring and compassion under the most trying of conditions. Reaching for Comfort will inspire readers with its compelling prose, riveting narrative, and uplifting spirituality.
Michael Oren, author, The Night Archer: and Other Stories, former Israeli ambassador to the United States

“God wants the heart.” Sherri Mandell’s account of her journey in becoming a spiritual care professional (melavah ruchanit) is full of heart. Having faced the most unimaginable trauma—the loss of her son Koby to a terrorist attack—Mandell sets out to accompany others through loss, illness and suffering. The reader is gifted with a beautiful account of heart-opening—Mandell’s, to be sure, and also those of the patients and family members she accompanies. What a blessing to witness Mandell’s and her patients’ resilience!

Rabbi Dayle Friedman, editor, Jewish Pastoral Care: A Practical Guide from Traditional and Contemporary Sources