A Narrow Bridge

Awakening From Mental Illness

by Deborah Ruth Bronstein



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 7/3/2024

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 278
ISBN : 9798823027588
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 278
ISBN : 9798823027595
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 278
ISBN : 9798823027601

About the Book

“One of the most important and least attended-to mysteries in the treatment of mental illness is the need for a delicate, careful and thoughtful study and separation between the symptoms of illness and the search for God. There’s a difference between visions and hallucinations which very few psychiatrists and psychotherapists understand and support – even now. A Narrow Bridge is the only first-person memoir I’ve read to touch on and reveal these differences and to attempt to explain them. It is a well-thought-out, honest and penetrating memoir. This is one of the things that makes Bronstein’s work a vital contribution to the first-person literature on this deep subject.” —Joanne Greenberg, author of I Never Promised You A Rose Garden “This is a raw, heart rendering and, in the end, victorious book. Bontshe Sveig (in Yiddish literature) could not cry out. But Rabbi Deborah Bronstein could. And we can hear her. And we hear her now. And we will hear her Ad Olam; to the end of time.” —Dvorah Telushkin, author of Master of Dreams “This extraordinary book is a gift to anyone who has been touched first or secondhand by mental illness. With remarkable courage, candor, and compassion, Rabbi Bronstein shares her personal story and, in the process, illuminates the inner experience of mental illness and the inner world of the psychiatric hospital. Depression, despair, shame, rage, and self-loathing are depicted in all of their darkness. And yet, Bronstein insists, “truth is sometimes hidden in dark places. . .and goodness too.” This is ultimately an inspirational book, a testament to the power of the human spirit to move from great brokenness to greater wholeness and healing.” —Ken Pargament, author of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred

About the Author

Rabbi Deborah Ruth Bronstein was ordained from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1989. Her first congregation was in Los Angeles, California, where she worked at Leo Baeck Temple for five years. In 1994, she became the rabbi of Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, Colorado. Her years as a rabbi were rich and full in every way. Along with her congregational work, she had the opportunity to support people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. She also led a group at a drop-in center for people with chronic mental illness, helped South Sudanese refugees (“Lost Girls”) move to Boulder to be sustained by her congregation and others in the community, and served as a board member of the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness (INMI). In her work, she used stories of hope for young and old alike as a means of teaching and inspiring. She thinks of herself primarily as a pastoral rabbi with a strong commitment to social justice. After twenty years of serving as a rabbi at Har HaShem, the epilepsy that she developed as a teen worsened and limited her ability to work, requiring her to retire. In retirement, she has continued to be involved in the life of her congregation, with members of the South Sudanese community, and to become more and more active in the work of INMI. She now cofacilitates a spiritual support group at her synagogue for people who struggle with mental health challenges, along with their families and friends. The path to becoming a rabbi for her was very circuitous. Who would choose such a roundabout journey? However, looking back, the truth is that her time in the hospital and other times of emotional struggle opened her heart and soul and made her more available to others. For this, she is very grateful.