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Publisher's Summary

Every one of us sooner or later walks through hell. The hell of being hurt, the hell of hurting another. The hell of cancer, the hell of a reluctant, thunking shovel full of earth upon the casket of someone we deeply loved, the hell of betrayal, the hell of betraying, the hell of divorce, the hell of a kid in trouble...the hell of knowing that this year, like any year, may be our last. We all walk through hell. The point is not to come out empty-handed.... There is real and profound power in the suffering we endure if we transform that suffering into a more authentic, meaningful life.

In the spirit of such classics as When Bad Things Happen to Good People, A Grief Observed, and When Things Fall Apart, More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us examines the many ways we can transform physical, psychological, or emotional pain into a more beautiful and meaningful life.

As the leader of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, one of America’s largest and most important congregations, located in the heart of Los Angeles, Rabbi Leder has witnessed a lot of pain: “It’s my phone that rings when people’s bodies or lives fall apart,” he writes. “The couch in my office is often drenched with tears.” After 27 years of listening, comforting, and holding so many who suffered, he thought he understood pain and its challenges - but when it struck hard in his own life and brought him to his knees, a new understanding unfolded before him as he felt pain’s profound effects on his body, spirit, and soul.

In this elegantly concise, beautifully written, and deeply inspiring book, Rabbi Leder guides us through pain’s stages of surviving, healing, and growing to help us all find meaning in our suffering. Drawing on his experience as a spiritual leader, the wisdom of ancient traditions, modern science, and stories from his own life and others’, he shows us that when we must endure, we can, and that there is a path for each of us that leads from pain to wisdom. “Pain cracks us open,” he writes. “It breaks us. But in the breaking, there is a new kind of wholeness.” This powerful book will inspire in us all a life worthy of our suffering; a life gentler, wiser, and more beautiful than before.

©2018 Steve Leder (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Jane Kenyon, “Otherwise” from Collected Poems. © 2005 by The Estate of Jane Kenyon. Use with permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of Graywold Press, www.graywoldpress.org.

What listeners say about More Beautiful Than Before

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  • Dave
  • 20-02-2019

Learning from Pain

This book is sooo good and right! The author understands. Pleas read it and live like you matter.
I have lymphoma and boy, does it give you a new perspective on life and what's important. I used to waste so much time watching stupid stuff on TV. I am pickier now. I DVR shows to watch" later" , but if "later" never comes for most of it, it's ok. I am watching more educational stuff and encouraging and uplifting YouTube videos as a reward for housework. I am reading and listening to uplifting books and podcasts while I clean and organize my home. I am calling my Dad daily to check in with him and my Mom. I am writing thank you notes to friends, family, and companies that have helped us through my cancer journey. I am attending cancer support groups and fundraisers, a county food network meetings working on food insecurity and possible mobile produce market, and attending trivia nights with my niece and her husband.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 28-05-2019

LOVE LOVE LOVE

As a hospice nurse, I have seen my share of suffering and this book brings beauty to the harder things in life. I listened to it in one fell swoop. Highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • elyse feingold
  • 17-01-2021

A magnificent Book!

One of the most meaningful and inspirational books I have ever read. Written by a Rabbi but should be read by all faiths!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sara S. Hagan
  • 22-02-2020

Beautiful and Insightful

I absolutely loved this book. I am not a religious person so I loved that the author and rabbi helped people of all faiths and that I was able to fully participate in it given that I’m not religious. His lessons and perspectives are beautiful and hopeful. I highly recommend

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  • Susan
  • 18-08-2019

Out of the ashes comes healing.

I loved this book. In the midst of a trying time in my life, it provided new insights, courage and growth in the challenging times. I highly recommend this book to everyone, whether you are in dark times are not. It is truly inspirational.

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  • impressed
  • 12-06-2019

Absorbing like a sponge

I am going to listen to this again because it moves me to my very core and makes me think and feel more than i ever have. I am so glad I chose this book to help me through my emotional healing and ways to cope with my loss. I am thankful for this wisdom and the next book I choose will be by Steve Leder as well.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-01-2019

Hits home!

I loved it! I have purchased a couple more as gifts for family and friends who are struggling.

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  • sultan
  • 24-06-2018

amazing book

amazing book will help you to grow in difficult time and will change your life

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aggman
  • 17-09-2021

You Won't Suffer Listening to Leder

What a great Audible book! Powerful, beautiful, meaningful, and richly rewarding. I am now looking for more Leder books and Audible recordings. Thank you.

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  • Joan Zak
  • 09-04-2021

Lots of meaning without much Preaching

Rabbi Leder describes his experiences and doesn't fall into the trap of minimizing the difficulty of surviving catastrophic events. He gives lots of great examples from Rabbinic Sources and modern commentators. He probably has contributed to changing my life, by making me more aware of how to respond to people in crisis. Thank you, Rabbi Leder.

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