Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Book Review: "100 Life Lessons..."
100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To by Rosally Saltsman is a wonderful serious but light book. Now, that does sound like a contradiction... But, I really enjoyed reading it and got a lot out of it, too.
It's hard to pigeonhole 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To into a standard genre. Even though the word "lessons" appears in the title, it's not your usual self-help book, though it does encourage the reader to take things more easily and not panic. It'll all work out.
Saltsman uses examples of events and situations from her life in each "lesson." She reveals a lot about herself, her short marriage, her son, her becoming religious and that she lives in Israel. We really get to know and admire her, even if our lives are a bit different.
Yes, it's almost a memoir. But it's not a memoir. It's a series of 100 Life Lessons.
In the chapter titled "Who Knows?" Saltsman reminisces about how when she was a student in Brandeis University only when she wanted to join a "Jewish Choir" she discovered that although there were other choirs for students to join, davka, the Jewish university didn't have a "Jewish Choir." She had managed to get the ball rolling to establish one, but for financial reasons, the following year she transferred out to McGill in Montreal, so she wasn't there to participate or even know what happened to her idea. She only discovered that Brandeis actually established a "Jewish Choir" a number of years later, when she visited there and saw a poster advertising a performance. The lesson here is that you don't know what influence you've had on others. Sometimes you may never even find out. I really liked that.
Another important lesson is titled "Ricki's List." Saltsman tells about her friend Ricki who wrote a list of all the things she had to do before taking a vacation. As happens to many of us, Ricki didn't manage to do everything on her list. Unlike many of us, she happily -without any additional stress- enjoyed her vacation and then, after returning home completed all that was on her list. Apropos to the previous paragraph, I wonder if Ricki realized how this impressed Saltsman until she read 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To.
I'll end with the lesson "Let It Rain," where Saltsman writes of dancing in the rain, rather than complaining about getting wet. Here in Israel, we're reminded that the quantity of rain each winter, yes - it only rains in the winter, depends on how satisfied Gd is with our -the Jewish People's- behavior. Rain is a blessing. Gd willing we'll have a wonderful wet winter.
100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To can be ordered on Amazon (click) if you want a kindle version. For a hard copy (softcover) $21.50/NIS70 (including S&H) or Digital format $4.99/NIS16 through Paypal recipient - firstname.lastname@example.org. Or on Lulu - print to order: click: 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To.
I highly recommend 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To for yourself and anyone else you care about.