Holy Woman is not only the biography of a remarkable contemporary woman who, in the most difficult of circumstances, achieved spiritual greatness, but it is also a spiritual manual directing the reader how to attain one’s own highest potential.
The reader follows Chaya Sara Weiser, a child wonder-worker, from her Carpathian village, through Auschwitz, to the shores of Palestine. There she meets Yaakov Moshe Kramer, whom great rabbis would identify as a “lamed-vov tzaddik,” one of the 36 hidden righteous people whose merit sustains the whole world. She becomes his wife and his disciple. For over forty years they live in a ramshackle cottage in an obscure village, taking care of multiply-handicapped children, bestowing miraculous blessings, and profoundly impacting the lives of everyone they meet. After R’ Yaakov Moshe’s passing, Rebbetzin Chaya Sara spends the fifteen years of her widowhood “like a Rebbe in Jerusalem.”
This book, however, goes beyond the externals to trace the inner spiritual journey of Chaya Sara Kramer: how she transformed herself from a sharp-tempered youth to a woman of endurance and tranquility; how she made joy and laughter her trademarks despite her Holocaust experiences, poverty, and childlessness; how she mastered her natural inclinations toward vanity, pride, and acquisitiveness and replaced them with the luminous traits of simplicity, generosity, and self-transcendence; and how she attained the ultimate state of unconditional love for everyone she met.
This book is more than a fascinating story and an absorbing page-turner. It is an invitation to us all — to aim our own aspirations higher and to quicken our steps on our own spiritual journey.
“Like all of Sara Rigler’s writing, Holywoman is powerful, page after page. Its effect on my priorities and my attitudes has been profound. To read it is to undergo a life-changing experience.”
Sarah Shapiro, author
“Your book moved me to tears, more than once. The inspiration in her life – and his – will improve many, many lives. Thank you for writing it!”
Rabbi David Gottleib
“Holy Woman is one of the most thrilling testimonies to the existence of free-will written in a century. Mrs. Rigler’s book challenges each of us. It will take its place among the touchstones of English-language Judaica.”
Rabbi Leib Kelemen
“Holy Woman is the book that Jewish women have been waiting for–the biography of a woman who attained spiritual greatness through the unique path of women.
“Rebbetzin Chaya Sara Kramer would be a heroine in any era. In our era she is unique. No one can read this book without being enriched. The unstinting research makes the subject too real to dismiss as a two-dimensional example of piety.
“I strongly recommend Holy Woman to anyone who wants to open new vistas and move the invisible ceiling of one’s own spiritual aspirations a bit higher.”
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
I read your book once one week ago. I am now reading it for the second time, and I will probably want to read it dozens of times. It has already changed my way of looking at myself and my life..
Rebbetzin M.L. Kotkes-Lanell
I have just completed reading Holy Woman a second time. I rarely read a book twice.… I tell my friends to read the book with a highlighter in hand. If one follows just one precept, one’s life will be enriched and uplifted.
Ahuva Ribner, New York
I borrowed the book from my neighbor, who has been praising it no end (and was just finishing up her third reading), and despite my skepticism that any book could be that compelling, I was hooked from the start. By page 75, I was literally reading with my mouth open, stunned that such a person could live in this world…. I have read many biographies, but I have never connected so much to a subject as I did to Rebbetzin Chaya Sara. It’s because of your “road map” idea — a brilliant way to focus, connect and inspire the reader.