In a touching and powerful tribute to his father Bruce Ritholtz (z’l), Daniel Ritholtz, in his debut book, As a Ram Yearns for the Brook (on sale September 22, 2020), paints a portrait of the father-son relationship in the setting of New York’s Modern Orthodox Jewish community.
Through the medium of letters, real and imagined, Daniel tells the story of his upbringing at the turn of the 21st century. He describes his parents' role and especially his father's impact on his younger years. Although filled with humor and some pain, Daniel's childhood is the prototypical Modern Orthodox Jewish upbringing. This all changes in 2013 when his father Bruce is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Daniel illuminates their relationship and his father's strength in dealing with the highs and lows of battling cancer. With incredible insight and self-reflection, he portrays the hardships and resilience of a family who fights cancer together and also investigates his own trials as he navigates the mental toll of being a son of a cancer patient. Sadly, Daniel's father passes away. He eloquently describes the Jewish rituals of mourning and the effects they had on him. However, Daniel's journey with his father does not end there. He attempts to connect with his father during the fledglings of adulthood as Daniel navigates finding his place in his community, his faith, and his world.
About the Author
Daniel Ritholtz, 24, is currently a rabbinical student at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University and a master's candidate at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. He is hoping to pursue a career in law. He started this book as a project to help him reconnect with his father. Daniel sees this as not only a fitting tribute to Bruce, but that it also contains lessons and experiences to which many will find valuable.
Bruce Ritholtz z'l*
Bruce Ritholtz (z’l), was born in Plainview, NY in 1956 to Dorothy and Arthur Ritholtz. The middle of two siblings, Stacey and David, Bruce went to Stony Brook University, Hofstra Law School, and made a career trading heating oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange. He married his wife Michelle in 1991 and had three children Annie, Daniel, and Talia. As an active member of his community, whether the Upper West Side of Manhattan or in Teaneck, NJ, Bruce served on multiple organizational boards and capital campaign committees. He loved to learn Torah and forged lifelong bonds with many of his Rabbis. He was a beloved friend to many and enjoyed the Yankees, golf, and Seinfeld, to name a few. Bruce was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in 2013 and battled it with grace and courage for over a year. Within that year, he became an inspiration not only for his faith and positivity but also for a speech he gave that is featured in As a Ram Yearns for the Brook. Bruce Passed away, September 27, 2014, the fourth day of Tishrei. Most of all, Bruce loved and took pride in his immediate and extended family. who try to emulate and continuously learn from him. Writing As a Ram Yearns for the Brook is only a small example of that endeavor.
*Zichrono Li'vrachah - "May his memory be a blessing"
A portion* of the proceeds of the book will be donated to the Lustgarten Foundation and Refuat Hanefesh. The Lustgarten Foundation's mission is to cure pancreatic cancer by funding scientific and clinical research related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pancreatic cancer; providing research information and clinical support services to patients, caregivers and individuals at high risk; and increasing public awareness and hope for those dealing with this disease. Refuat Hanefesh, a Jewish organization, aims to create a Jewish community that is more aware, respectful, and empathetic to people living with mental illness. These charities have a meaningful connection to As a Ram Yearns for the Brook, as pancreatic cancer and mental health take center stage in the book.
*Twenty percent of any royalties accrued by the author for As a Ram Yearns for the Brook (paper back or Kindle), will be split evenly, ten percent to the Lustgarten Foundation and ten percent to Refuat Hanefesh, from September 22, 2020, until and including September 10, 2021.
New Jersey, US
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