When life robs you, sometimes you have to rob it back.”
— Liesel Meminger

I watched “The Book Thief” last night with three of my daughters.

My thirteen year old twin daughters, might have been a bit traumatized.

I m still glad they saw it.

For those of you who are cynical, or simply curious — about the possibility of developing genuine parental love toward an adopted child on par with biological love, even towards a full grown child, and doubt the likelihood of having that same affection reciprocated — please watch this film.

If you are looking for a reminder of the redemptive power of love and how living in it’s light raises us to the highest selves we can be — please watch this film.

If you are generally skeptical about the intrinsic goodness of mankind — please watch this film.

If you are unsure of the ability of ordinary men and women to rise to the occasion, performing extraordinary acts of heroism, bravery, and kindness, when confronted with the forces of pure evil and utter despair, then please watch this film.

If you have a lifelong love of books, reading them, having them, holding them — and consider an hour spent in the hazy muskiness of a poorly lit second hand bookstore a sublime experience — then please watch this film.

For those who might appreciate this kind of quote by Anthony Burgess about words and sentences — “And the words slide into the slots ordained by syntax, and glitter as with atmospheric dust with those impurities which we call meaning.” — You will certainly love this film.

If in struggling to feel the fire of your life’s passion, all you actually feel is life’s pain, or find yourself emotionally depleted from continuously attempting unsuccessfully, to discover the flame of your life’s purpose, or in trying to focus on the upside of your life, you feel instead held in the clutches of its downside, or if your dream of leading a good meaningful life that is hopeful, positive, and joyous, is more often a nightmarish cocktail of hopelessness, negativity, and sadness, then I suggest watching this film.

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Sophie Nélisse, left, and Nico Liersch in a scene from "The Book Thief," about a girl who loves books. (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Jules Heath) ** Usable by LA and DC Only **

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Sophie Nélisse, left, and Nico Liersch in a scene from “The Book Thief,” about a girl who loves books. (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Jules Heath)

If you are looking for a cinematic equivalent of the Jewish morning prayer meditation of Modeh Ani — then you will want to rent this film.

Actually you might just want to purchase it, and watch it again, and again..

If you think you might be moved — by a tender affirmation of life, from none other than the voice of death itself —  then you should definitely watch this film. Oh, and yes — the book is pretty damn good too!

Much Love

Rabbi Yossi