Syd Arthur

Pearlsong Press
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Prince Siddhartha, raised behind palace walls and showered with every extravagance, abandoned his protected life to embark on a spiritual journey. He ultimately reached enlightenment and became known as the Buddha, which means "one who is awake." He then spent his life teaching that all have the potential to awaken...

Meet Syd Arthur! Living in the cloistered world of suburbia, Syd is a middle-aged Jewish woman who is potentially awake, but likes to start her day with a strong cup of coffee, just in case. Her daughter has just left for college and her diet is once again off track. While for most of her life she's been convinced that happiness can be attained by a magic number on the bathroom scale — or a really great shopping day at Bloomingdale's—she finds herself in the grocery store with an empty cart wondering if there just might be something more.

When East unexpectedly meets West, Syd embarks on a journey as a spiritual seeker. Soon she's in over her chakras as her search takes her from yoga studio to meditation hall to ashram gift store to the pages of Zensational catalogue. Her Mah Jongg group insists it's merely a midlife crisis. But nothing's going to stop Syd's journey toward Nirvana—not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom's. 

Follow Syd as she finds her bliss and discovers a richness that rivals a Godiva truffle, making for one delicious enlightenment.

"What do you wear to the meditation center?" I had asked Montana. "I mean, when I go to temple, I usually wear a suit. Sometimes a pantsuit, but mostly a skirt and a blazer."

"Okay, you definitely don't need to wear a suit, Syd. Just wear something comfortable to sit in. And I promise you Om Guru is not about the clothes. No one cares what you wear. People there are concerned about the inner you, about your journey to realize and meet the Self."

I thought for a minute and then said, "So let me ask you it this way. When I meet my Self, should I meet her in country club casual or something more dressy?"

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About the author

Ellen Frankel is a licensed clinical social worker. In addition to the novel Syd Arthur, she is author of Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth and co-author (with her sister Judith Matz, LCSW) of Beyond a Shadow of a Diet and The Diet Survivor's Handbook.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Pearlsong Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 2011
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Pages
364
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ISBN
9781597190275
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / General
Fiction / Humorous
Fiction / Jewish
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A touching, tender and at times funny account of a woman’s struggle for stature in a 4 foot 8½ inch tall body, Beyond Measure speaks to the heart of soul-breaking attempts to fit an arbitrary and elusive cultural ideal of physical perfection. Being short isn’t the problem, Ellen Frankel insists. Instead, the real difficulties lie in the social bias against short people.

Frankel shares the difficulties of living short in a world in which stereotypes are based on gender and size. She moves beyond her own experience into the political realm in revealing how pharmaceutical companies—with government backing—are expanding the market for human growth hormone treatment by reclassifying healthy short children as patients in “need” of such injections in hopes of making them taller.

She shares the dilemma of being subjected to simultaneous messages that her physical body should be bigger—that is, taller, but not wider—while her expansive spiritual body should be smaller. Self-destructive behaviors emerge from too much attention on the external rather than the internal workings of the soul. Frankel flirts with eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with powerful males in an attempt to compensate for her feelings of not “measuring up.” In the process, her real self slips farther away.

The path out of her dilemma lies in the shadow of the tallest mountain on Earth. It is through a spiritual pilgrimage to Nepal that Frankel discovers her own strength and spirit, and that we are all dwarfed by Everest and beyond measure.

"If you have ever measured your height or weight and felt good or bad about yourself as a result, you need this book," says Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size. "In its pages, Ellen Frankel makes an important contribution to human liberation by telling the most fabulous story that can be told, the story of a person coming fully into her own. This book is thought-provoking, heart-rending, and a genuine solace for people of all sizes."

The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

Three hundred Jewish tales in this extraordinary volume span three continents and four millennia. Culled from traditional sources—the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, hasidic texts, and oral folklore—and retold in modern English by Ellen Frankel, these stories represent the brightest jewels in the vast treasure chest of Jewish lore.

Beautifully clothed in contemporary language, these classic tales sparkle with the gentle and insightful humor of the Jewish folk imagination. And like so much of Jewish literature, these stories abound in allusions to classic Jewish texts. Biblical cadences, phrases from the prayer book, and ideas from Jewish proverbs and heroic legends resonate in the air when these tales are read or told aloud. In The Classic Tales, history sheds its dust to become as intimate as family memory.

While the breadth and depth of this book make it completely unique, three special features also help distinguish it: God appears without gender (though certainly not without personality); women characters, so often nameless in the original biblical text, wear their midrashic names (e.g., Noah's wife Naamah, Abraham's mother Amitlai, Lot's wife Edith); and many tales of Sephardic origin have been included to correct the common American bias toward Eastern European sources.

What's more, this volume has been uniquely designed to be of use to educators, rabbis, parents, and students. It features a chronological table of contents as well as six separate indexes?arranged by Jewish holidays, Torah and Haftorah readings, character types, symbols, topics, and proper names and places—to make the tales easily referenced in a wide variety of ways. Anyone who needs a story to inspire a child, to illustrate a point, to develop a sermon, or just to uplift his or her own thirsting soul will find just the right one in The Classic Tales.
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