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The December Project


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About the Author

Sara Davidson is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties; Joan: Forty Years of Life, Loss, and Friendship with Joan Didion; and Leap! She has written for the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Harper's, The Atlantic, Esquire, and Rolling Stone. Davidson lives in Boulder, Colorado. Half the author's proceeds go to support the Reb Zalman Legacy Project.


"The December Project embodies deep spiritual wisdom.... A lovely book."--Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love
The December Project
is full of the 'great questions' that Schachter-Shalomi is famous for asking. [The book] distills spiritual wisdom and teachings about coping with mortality of this rabbi who has spent his life both deepening his ties to the Jewish tradition and innovating outward."--Tablet Magazine
"[Davidson] strikes a keen balance between sharing enough of herself that she is a real presence in the book, and withdrawing enough that we can feel that we too are sitting in intimate conversation with Reb Zalman, gleaning some of what he's harvested over nearly ninety years of life."--Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, author of The Velveteen Rabbi
"A biography of a spiritual genius preparing for his last day by helping us prepare for our next day. If you don't know Reb Zalman, please let Sara introduce you to him. If you do know him, please let Sara introduce you to him more intimately."--Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent
"A gem of a book for anyone of any faith tradition. Reb Zalman is wise, funny and irresistible. You will want to read this book cover to cover."--Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and a founder of Insight Meditation Society
"A warm and wise new book . . . a mediated memoir and meditation on the end of life. ... A tour through the rabbi's unusual life sprinkled with bits of folksy wisdom, and suggestions on how to achieve a little peace yourself."--Boulder Daily Camera
"An exuberant piece of writing I found both moving and instructive. What makes it so rich is that Davidson owns 'a seeker's heart and a skeptic's mind.'"--Will Blythe, former literary editor of Esquire and author of To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever
"Anyone embarking on The December Project is in for a surprise: there is as much laughter, healing, and deep peace in these pages as sober reflection on being human. Above all, this book is a testament to the rich rewards of conversation between fearless friends."--Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark
"Anyone who has had the opportunity to spend private time with Reb Zalman, to be in spiritual intimacy with him, knows it is a life-changing experience. Sara Davidson has had that experience, and now through her writing, you can too."--Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night's Dream
"As baby boomers begin to approach the end of their lives, the time is right for books about the spirituality of dying.... This is a book they'll want to read."--Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight
"Bracing, brave observations [that] should empower readers of any age."--Spirituality&Health
"Davidson brings us the dialogue we dream of having: where we can place our darkest doubts and fears in the loving embrace of a profound elder, who's grooming us patiently for what's waiting around the inevitable corner of our lives."--Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, author of With Roots in Heaven and The Woman's Kabbalah
"For boomers who wish to devote serious attention to questions of meaning as they experience ineluctable aging, this book of intense, personal conversations leavened with profound insights is an excellent place to begin."--Publishers Weekly
(framed review)

"In her compelling new book, Davidson allows us to eavesdrop on two years of conversation with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. . . . Reb Zalman's wisdom shines out from the book's pages . . . a celebratory book."--Jewish Journal
"Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi is the most creative teacher and practitioner of Jewish spirituality in the Western world. Sara Davidson's lively engagement with his teachings highlights a curious mind and a beautiful soul that we are blessed to be able to encounter through this book."--Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine and author of Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation
"Renowned journalist Sara Davidson has drawn out new, previously unrevealed dimensions of Reb Zalman, one of the great teachers of our age. Listening in on their conversations is both mind and soul expanding."--Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Jewish Literacy, and Hillel
"Revelatory... the best rendering of Reb Zalman's wisdom that I've come across... (Davidson's) transformation seems to have come simply from being in the elder sage's presence - and seeing that there's a real person behind the "sage." Thanks to "The December Project," we can taste some of that presence ourselves."--Jay Michaelson, The Forward
"Sara Davidson caught the spirit of this many-sided man in her interviews, and she has transmitted his insights into how to live in the December stage of our lives to all those who read this book. I recommend this one wholeheartedly."--South Florida Jewish Journal
"Sara Davidson shares the joy and wisdom that she gleaned from two years of weekly talks with eighty-six year old Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. A delight to read, the lingering gifts of this book are peace, love and sweetness."--Light of Consciousness Journal
"This is not a morbid book about the end of life, but a bright, spirited discussion between a great teacher and a sincere seeker."--Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind and Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine
"Thoroughly engaging, this book about the winter season of life glitters with insight and wisdom--for all our years."--Andrew Weil, MD, author of Healthy Aging and Spontaneous Happiness
Shortly before Jewish renewal movement founder Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi died in July, The December Project appeared. In it, the guru-like rabbi shared eldering wisdom and anticipatory thoughts on dying well. ... A chance for a wider audience to access the teachings of Reb Zalman.--Lillith

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