Since my mother, Rebbetzin Chaiky Rubin’s z’l passing, I have heard ‘resilient’, ‘resilience’, ‘strength’ and other words of a similar nature bandied about as if they had no meaning. “You look so good. You are so strong and resilient.”
Just because I put a bit of make-up on, it doesn’t mean that I healed on the inside. As a frum person I always understood the word resilient to be used in the context of Hashem’s will, but I always wanted to explore the depth of the subject.
When I came across Resilience, written by Leslie Morrison Gutman Ph.D. (associate professor in clinical, health and educational psychology and the program director of the MSc Behaviour Change at University College London, among a long list of other accreditations), I was excited to see how Torah wisdom mixed with modern research would bring more clarity to this subject.
This book has not let me down from the very start, when she says in her preface, ‘Everyone has his own pekeleh—baggage.’ I knew I was in safe hands, as these are the words that my parents always taught me when growing up. Whatever your pekeleh, when placed with everyone else’s, you will always take your own back.
The layout of information and exercises to implement the concepts into practice is inspirational. The clarity that Leslie brings to the subject astounds me, as she has done her research well. ‘Resilience is a lifelong learning pursuit, not an absolute state of being.’ With this one sentence Leslie shows the depth of her understanding.