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The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People (1981) is a natural to cover the quintessential story of suffering for the excellent Jewish Encounters series. He expounds the text, explains what philology has determined about its structure and linguistic meanings, and offers the best and most influential things said about it. The Book of Job consists of the originally non-Jewish legend of Job (only one name in the whole book is Jewish); the Hebrew poem of Job, encompassing Job’s colloquies with three would-be-comforting friends and God’s concluding response; and a theological commentary by the young Jewish bystander, Elihu, now considered a negligible late interpolation. Moreover, although the poem contains the philosophical meat of the book, it’s probably corrupt (due to scribal errors, perhaps) in one place in which linguistic logic breaks down. Nevertheless, it remains the touchstone treatment of the problem of evil in Western culture. After airing the assessments of centuries’ worth of sages, Kushner ventures that that problem is answered by human creativity and resilience and the faithfulness of God. --Ray Olson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A current, accessible examination of a difficult and wondrous jewel of world literature.”
-Kirkus
 
“Kushner skillfully analyzes this complex story, surveying many sources along with offering his own impressive interpretation.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Kushner’s analysis challenges popular understanding of a text written and rewritten by unknown authors perhaps separated by centuries…No one can explain why evil exists, let alone in 200 pages. Still, Kushner’s tragic loss lets him assail an insolvable problem with authority.”
-The Washington Post
 
“Harold Kushner first brought comfort and insight to many in 1981 with his best-selling self-help book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Since then, he’s continued to offer life- and faith-affirming messages…In Job’s anguish and anger toward God, Kushner finds lessons on how one might remain faithful to a God who does not protect us from suffering.”
-Vox Tablet (weekly podcast of Tablet Magazine)
 
“Kushner’s lifelong experience with and study of the central questions of Job make almost every page of his masterful reading stimulating and often provocative and will turn many readers to the text.”
-Jewish Book Council
 
“Harold S. Kushner…share[s] the gifts of scholarly foundations, challenges to conventional theology, and a style that enlightens and inspires the decidedly un-Biblical among his readers…Kushner does a wonderful job summing up what he takes away from the Job story (it is actually something of a spoiler to paraphrase it, so buy the book) and handily condenses thinking from some of the great Jewish thinkers.”
-The Seattle Times


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449015424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449015421
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,017,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harold S. Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, where he lives. His books include the huge bestseller When Bad Things Happen To Good People and When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this to anyone studying the Book of Job.
Mary Sheridan Janda
Thought provoking and will make you think deeply about the book of Job and how it is relevant to how we think of God .
mlandg
Rabbi Kushner is a good writer, and we have many of his books.
Babs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Maslanka on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book yesterday in one sitting, along with the Rober Alter translation from his book "The Wisdom" book. The book was actually written by two people, spererated in time. The first part, which he calls the fable, is short and focuses in on God's bet with Satan. The second part he calls the poem and deals with the extended discussions between Job and his three friends. Rabbi Kushner writes thoughtfully and graciously---he has his view of the meaning of Job but never impugns other views(the next to last chapter provides a useful summary of divergent views. I understand the Rabbi to be saying this:God is all powerful but in the realm of Nature(floods, hurricanes etc) and in the realm of nature with a small "n"(some being genetically blessed, others not) he has ceded control to a random universe. But, and here is the key, in these areas God expects us to be collaborators(my word, not the Rabbi's). He movingly talks about a sermon he gave in New Orleans, where he explained that the residents should not take the calamity as a sign of God's hate because it simply is what it is:a Natural disaster. The more important point is what animated so many to sacrifice for others, using their own boats to rescue their neighbors. He answers:It comes from God and his expectation that we collaborate with Him in buiding a word of justice and decency. The Creator gives us the opportunity to do so. We need only take it. Rabbi Kushner's book is challenging and strecthes the reader, but it is not obtuse nor high handed. A beautiful book to be read again and again.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. Zimmer on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Book of Job, while well known as a book in the Bible, is not at all an easy book to unravel, and Rabbi Kushner gives us an excellent reading of the book, which untangles a great many difficulties, making it both understandable and relevant. Kushner's insights gleaned from many Jewish as well as Christian sources are insightful and inviting.
The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person rewards the reader with both fresh understanding and challenge.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By William E Hodgson on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is actually the first Kushner book I have read and I found it most enlightening. Anyone on a spiritual journey would find it well worth reading, I think.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JeffT on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Book of Job is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I have accumulated about a dozen commentaries on it over the years. My wife bought this one for me for Christmas and, after reading it, I can say that this book is among the best. In particular, if I was going recommend one book for someone looking for a place to start in learning about the Book of Job, this would be it.

The Book of Job addresses perhaps the most fundamental question people wonder about God: if God is all-powerful and loving, why do good people suffer? Kushner dives into this issue as addressed by the Book of Job in a very clear and concise fashion, discussing traditional interpretations of Judaism and Christianity as well as his own opinions and those of others to provide a well-rounded discussion of the issues involved.

Kushner discusses all of the major areas of controversy in the interpretation of Job including: Was Job a real person or is the book a parable?; Would God allow a person's life to be ruined over a bet?; Who is the Satan in the book? Is God responsible for evil? Why do some good people suffer while some wicked ones prosper?, etc. While one may not agree with all of Kushner's conclusions, you will have, at a minimum, obtained a much better understanding of the various ways in which the issues discussed in the Book of Job can be interpreted.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nancy J. Mumford on October 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I expected this to be more like "When bad things happen to good people" and was a little disappointed that this was more of a play by play study of the book of Job. Kushner's insights are brilliant and his warmth brings the scripture to life, but I would recommend this more as a Bible study guide than a discussion of God's role in man's life. This is not a casual read but something that requires thought and study - not really what I was looking for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurence J. Bloom on May 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many will remember that this same author wrote When Bad Things Happen to Good People decades ago, and it has become a classic on the subject. He returns to look at the topic from a more scriptural standpoint, and again hits the nail on the head. With a certain amount of good humor and an enviable writing style, Rabbi Kushner visits the Book of Job and sets out the many issues connected with the text, and the thoughts and conclusions of the great minds throughout the ages on the subject. Readers will almost inevitably come to see bad times in a new light after reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By real money fan on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rabbi Kushner is the best at de-ciphering the mysteries of the Old Testament. This book is a wonderful in depth study of one of the most important books of the Bible. Kushner has helped many people understand the mystery of why good people suffer. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark L. Morgan on March 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I m a huge fan of Harold Kushner and am always looking for books by this author. Unlike other Kushner books I have read this is a true study. The book of Job is so difficult to understand. I find Kushner's interpretations and insights extremely helpful. This book helped me when I was questioning Gods love for me. I would highly recommend this to anyone questioning the difficulties of the world around them.
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