N4L 136: "The Quest for Eternal Sunshine" by Mendek Rubin & Myra Goodman

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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

SUMMARY

In The Quest for Eternal Sunshine: A Holocaust Survivor's Journey from Darkness to Light, Myra Goodman shares her father’s story of transformation posthumously. As a Polish Hassidic Jew, Mendek Rubin is the object of anti-Semitism even before Hitler closes in on the Jews. After surviving the Holocaust, he becomes a brilliant inventor who revolutionizes the jewelry manufacturing industry, generating numerous patents in the 1960s and 1970s.

When he retires, he invents the equipment to wash and package baby greens for Earthbound Farm―the largest grower of organic produce in the world and the first company to successfully market ready-to-eat salads for retail sale. Yet, now in his sixties, Mendek still carries all the trauma, pain, and despair of childhood and the concentration camps. Finally, applying his genius to his own psyche, he starts to change, discovering and implementing practices that enable him to fully let go of the bad and embrace only the good life has to offer.

To round out her father’s neglected manuscript, Goodman spends four years researching, interviewing, and gathering historical information. By publishing the book as a co-author, she chronicles Mendek’s transformative healing journey while also creating an inspiring roadmap for herself and others seeking self-awareness and inner growth.

KEY POINTS

  • The years leading up to concentration camps during the Holocaust are also traumatic.
  • Mendek serves in seven different slave-labor camps during WWII.
  • Dyslexic, he is beaten by his father for doing poorly in school, failing out in the sixth grade.
  • Afraid of both living and dying, Mendek is mired for years in hopelessness and fear.
  • He helps launch Earthbound Farm, Goodman’s organic farming business, by using parts from a local junkyard to invent an automated process for washing and bagging salads.
  • Mendek, with only bad memories of his childhood, begins to change when he purposefully goes back in time to remember and replay the good, kind, gestures of love.
  • Goodman’s sister, while living with her parents as an adult to recover from sickness, manages to captures her father’s stories of forgiveness in recordings.
  • To tap into love, Rubin learns to practice mindful presence.
  • The fallacy of progress: human beings have not figured out how to live peacefully, realizing we are all interdependent.
  • Positive thinking and emotions can be just as contagious as the coronavirus.
  • It’s never too late to write a new narrative for our lives.
  • Affirmations and visualization provide Mendek the power to release his negative emotions and embrace all that is good in the world, including joy and love.

QUOTES FROM GOODMAN

  • “My dad was my sunshine!”
  • “He discovered that the cold, indifferent universe he had lived in for so long was nothing more than his own projection, and that he had the power to change it.”
  • “I hear my dad’s voice inside my head all the time!”
  • “My father’s deepest intention was to turn away from darkness and toward the light—to constantly embrace all that is beautiful.”

QUOTES FROM RUBIN

  • “Love has transformed my inner landscape, so that now I have only to look within myself to find satisfaction and the source that is all that is good in life. My inner splendor dazzles me.”
  • “My plan was to build an inventory of new, joyful thoughts and experiences in the same way I’d have learned to play the piano: through practice and repetition.”
  • “There are no bad people, only bad ideas.”
  • “It’s not that I deny the past; I just don’t live in it.”

BUY Quest for Eternal Sunshine: A Holocaust Survivor’s Journey from Darkness to Light

RECOMMENDATION

Read Myra Goodman’s article, “Healing Generations of Pain.”

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