'Living With Our Dead': How Rabbi Delphine Horvelor's Book Makes Its Time

‘Living With Our Dead’: How Rabbi Delphine Horvelor’s Book Makes Its Time

9:00 PM, June 17, 2022

author. Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, ordained in 2008, is one of the voices of Jewish liberalism in France. She is the editor of the magazine diversity, runs the Parisian synagogue at Beaugrenelle, and writes deep articles. It interferes with public debate, particularly on questions of anti-Semitism, identity, and feminism. The liberal current is a minority in French Judaism. Delphine Horvilleur often finds herself caught between anti-Semitism and orthodoxy. She appears as a pervert. The rabbi remains a woman of openness and dialogue. In a fractured French society, it is she who seeks reconciliation, collection, reform and reform. Delphine Horvilleur is busy. His family life, his diary, his practice, his courses, his books. She worked as a journalist and doctor and lived in Israel and the United States. woman moving.

the book.in live with our deadDelphine Horvilleur tells us how to stand with the dying and the bereaved. She combines story (rabbinic experience), reasoning (talmudic interpretation), and confession (personal memories) to compose a poignant, comic, academic text. He tells, through eleven chapters, the way we give meaning to death through speech. The rabbinate takes on the role of narrator to reflect on and embrace intimate and communal wounds. The article was published on March 2, 2021. Received in context: A third wave of the Corona virus Covid-19 affected France at the beginning of 2021. In such an atmosphere, do readers want to immerse themselves in a book about death? The success is immediate.

She is so sad behind a bright picture

editor. Delphine Horvelur reached Grass via Pascal Bruckner. She carried this book project, the predominant role of death in Talmudic practice and the way in which it is indulged, long before the onset of the epidemic in France. Olivier Nora, CEO of Grasset Editions, immediately believed in him. The novelist Lorette Nopicourt has taken the title: We have the life of the dead. The word “consolation” in the subtitle (Small condolence thesis) there to weaken the word “dead” in the final address (live with our dead). So the house expected success, but not in such proportions. Delphine Horvilleur embodies her books remarkably with their clarity of expression and playful aura. Oliver Nora: “She is very sad behind a bright picture. Because there are left-handed people angry, she is sad sad. »

sales. In her eight short years at Grasset, Delphine Horvilleur has established herself as a lead author. In Eve’s outfit in 2013 (15,730 copies); How do rabbis make babies? in 2015 (9458 copies); Reflections on the issue of antisemitism in 2019 (31318 copies). live with our dead So it will be published in March 2021. Today, Grasset’s house has more than 200,000 copies and eleven foreign sales. The article was not published in paperback. In the end, it could reach half a million copies. It has been a best selling non-fiction at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, throughout 2021. The book continues to be sold. Stanislas Rigot, from the library: “We had the best feedback. Readers came back to buy more copies to give to loved ones.” Every time the book started sliding downhill, an unexpected bounce occurred. François Posnel’s La Grande Librairie (France 5) program played a leading role. A meeting between Delphine Horvilleur and Leila Slimani, broadcast on April 14, 2022, revived sales. They went from 300 copies to over 2,000 copies per week. live with our dead It remains one of Grasset’s bestsellers.

Read also – Rabbi Delphine Horvelor: ‘I do a lot of ceremonies on Zoom’

Explanation. This is his most personal, most accessible, and most open text. It was a double-edged sword, after several confinements, but living with our dead faced the fears of that time. People wanted to move forward and also think about this other thing. Delphine Horvilleur tells us how to accompany our dead when we are unable to do so. She finds an unsatisfactory form, with bursts of light and humor, to show disappearance and detachment. She explains how the story of the lives of the dead allows us to cast our ancestors’ fears in the face of the unknown. There is a facilitating element in the way we accompany our dead with words. Oliver Nora: “Living with our dead is a stepping stone at the crossroads of religious practice, personal experience, and Talmudic interpretation. The author touched on the universality of the experience of mourning and death, but also of secular Judaism that everyone who has lost someone can access. Everyone now wants to die for you to bury them. Delphine Horvilleur is busy You have to wait until you die to become available.”

criticism. From the start, critics have been the same: Isn’t Delphine Horvilleur over-advertised? casing deer (2020) shocked. we heard : “It is out of place.” Olivier Nora is familiar with the top line you’re standing on: “How far can a religious practice enter the century, enter the century, enter the media? Its danger is there. It is not active towards the media, but is reactive with respect to requests. The candidate is important. But when you accompany children at the end of life, they are not under the eyes of the cameras.” Myriam Salameh, Grasset’s press officer, still faces several requests each week: “Delphine Horvilore wants to emerge as another figure of Judaism. There is part in fighting in her will to carry an enlightened discourse in the media. His words have not changed with success. From her reading network, she is trying to answer the questions of the time.”

Delphine Horvilleur wants to show another character to Judaism

the future. Producers advanced and bids soared. Lionel Ozan, of the entertainment production company, is convinced. live with our dead It will be freely adapted into a television series by two notable screenwriters and directors: Noé Debré and Benjamin Charbit. The series is now called no lord It is more concerned with the life of the rabbinate. Delphine Horvilleur will only have the role of chancellor in the series, in order to ensure an accurate representation of rabbinic practice. The author has also been contacted by the French Academy. She could not enter it as a rabbinate, but as an intellectual. She will publish a monologue for theater in mid-September, There is no rent, where she stands against house arrest based on the character Roman Garry. The play will be shown at Les Plateaux Sauvages in the 20th arrondissement in Paris. Olivier Nora would like to return to the open Talmudic interpretation.

reactions. More than two thousand messages were received. Delphine Horvilleur keeps unlocking about ten to fifteen characters per week live with our dead. Try to answer them all: The book stirred up family conversations, and brought back ghosts. Readers talk about an unresolved bereavement. » People write to her to see if she’s willing to take over at their funerals. They turn to the rabbinate, although sometimes they are not part of any Jewish tradition. “The sum of the reactions made me aware of the lack of space and talk about mourning in our societies. The success of living with our dead is a reflection of a kind of emptiness, of vacancy of spaces for speech. To talk about bereavement and death, people sometimes engage in therapy. Religious discourse is often seen as separate On real-life narratives People search for meaning: to connect with something greater than the self, with something transcendent. The reception of the book has to do with a flaw in the language of mourning in our societies.” Many people admitted their grief in someone else’s story.

Some also thank Delphine Horvilleur for giving Judaism an image other than that of an orthodox religion, among the self, which is hard to come by. Suddenly the doors of Jewish knowledge were opened to them. The narrative has largely gone beyond the issue of single religion. It echoed the personal and collective bereavement, such as that of Elsa Kayat or Simone Veil. Everyone can be sent to their own questions about secularism or feminism. Readers’ reactions have been overwhelming, complex and poignant to Delphine Horvelor. Every now and then the phenomenon of transfer between readers and author arises. This person had to face excessive expectations. They stop her like this on the street, hoping that she will intercede in the afterlife. As if she could link, there too, between different worlds. live with our dead Era met well, in its vicissitudes.

Living With Our Dead – A little message of solaceDelphine Horvilleur, Grasset, 222 pages, €19.50.

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