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Finding God in the Garden: Backyard Reflections on Life, Love, and Compost
Finding God in the Garden: Backyard Reflections on Life, Love, and Compost
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Product Code: 5224

Balfour Brickner

Publisher: Little Brown & Company

Drawing spiritual parallels to the garden is nothing new, but Brickner takes it a step further, using his garden as a platform to expound fairly heavy-handedly on theology and contemporary issues. Brickner, who has been a Reform rabbi for more than 45 years and gardens in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, self-admittedly came late to the passion of this particular hobby. The more I gardened, the more I began to learn about life, about what religion tries to teach and what faith tries to deepen, he writes. Here, he attempts to mesh his pleasure in gardening with his conviction that the laws of nature reflect the role of reason as a way to find and strengthen faith. Many of the gardening parallels deal with grief, loss and healing not surprising, as he shares that he is twice-divorced and lost his teenage daughter in a tragic accident. Brickner is at his best when extracting gentle parallels between gardening and the spiritual life; however, general-interest readers may find themselves bogged down when he expounds on weighty topics, free will, premarital sex, homosexuality, Christianity, prayer, physician-assisted death and miracles, rather than talking compost and peonies. The use of references imbedded in parentheses occasionally keeps the text from flowing smoothly. Those who love the natural world and enjoy digging deeper into Jewish theology in a logical, reasoned way will find much to ponder here; readers looking for a more intuitive book that blends gardening and faith may be a bit overwhelmed. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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