Book Review: The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift


Steve Leder would not be so bold as to say he is an “expert” on death. Even after three decades of sitting vigil at deathbeds and memorials of thousands of community members as the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Leder is learning about death like the rest of us. In his latest book The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift, Leder engages readers with a starkly honest and deeply humble set of reflections on how his own practice as a spiritual and community leader has been upended and rebuilt again by lessons in loss imparted in the most unexpected moments. 

In this candid memoir, Leder is both vulnerable and irreverent, infusing a searing sense of wit and observational humor into heartfelt discussions on some of humanity’s most solemn and inescapable themes while offering his own tales of personal and professional loss. 

The Beauty of What Remains offers simply written but deeply impactful stories and reflections as a gesture of hope for those still learning to recognize, celebrate and navigate the abundance of what is left behind after a loved one’s death.

Books reviewed by our team can be found at your local library or purchased online or from local bookstores.

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