Ben’oni L’benyamin is an insightful account of Rabbi Sara Berman’s struggle with depression. This novel is both highly readable and informative, which squashed any concerns I had that this novel would be unrelatable to a non-religious person like myself. To the contrary, I could empathise with many of the feelings Rabbi Berman discusses and found that the religious context provided an interesting philosophical frame of reference. Rabbi Berman’s straightforward interpretations of the significance behind the Jewish holidays as well as the deeper meanings in the parshiot are insightful. These also provide a helpful framework for anyone trying to understand what it’s like to live with depression and anxiety. Ben’oni L’benyamin takes great strides in fighting the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding mental illness through Rabbi Berman’s honest account of her personal battle.
Reviewed for Reader's Favorite