Discussion Questions

The Beautiful Possible

by Amy Gottlieb

  1. The Beautiful Possible shows how secrets, known and unknown, influence how we think about ourselves. How do you think the knowing (or not-knowing) affects these characters? Have you had any moments of unveiling in your own life that helped illuminate a truth about yourself?
  2. Throughout the book, there are several important conversations that never get to happen. Are there any you think might have changed the course of the book?
  3. In what ways is Maya’s life a reflection of her parents’ stories, and in what ways does she chart her own course?
  4. What did you make of Rosalie and Walter’s partnership? Why are they able to communicate with Sol’s congregation in a way that he is not?
  5. Walter wanders through the narrative, staying at the fringes of the JTS community and then traveling around the world picking up wisdom from a variety of religions and philosophies. What did you think about his elusive persona? Why do you think both Sol and Rosalie were drawn to him?
  6. Sol tells Maya that he is the “Velveteen Rabbit” rabbi, needing to be seen and loved in order to feel real. What do you think makes a rabbi a rabbi? Is it a way of thinking? Serving a community? How do Maya and Rosalie’s emotional connections to the rabbinate differ from Sol’s?

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Discussion Questions." (Viewed on February 29, 2024) <http://jwa.org/programs/bookclub/discussionquestions/the-beautiful-possible>.