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Overcoming Life's Disappointments Paperback – August 21, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Longtime author Harold S. Kushner, best known for his When Bad Things Happen to Good People, takes an intriguing look on the ability to cope by using the figure of Moses from the Bible. Yes, that Moses. Out of all of the various people in the Torah, he is undoubtably the most complex. Most of us tend to visualize him as a certain actor from Hollywood, brawny, noble and imposing, able to smite down miscreants when a single blow, but for those who have studied Moses in the Bible find someone a bit more closer to earth.
And if anyone had to deal with disappointment, it's certainly Moses. Called upon to lead the captive Jews out of Egypt, and facing down the most powerful ruler on Earth, it seems that once he's got them out in the wilderness at Sinai, things ought to be improving. Instead, what is happening when he returns with the first set of tablets? Why, they're worshipping an idol in the shape of a golden calf. And it doesn't even stop there -- throughout the forty years of exile, the people complain of thirst, hunger, and on and on and on -- enough to make anyone throw up their hands in disgust and walk away. And perhaps most bitter of all, Moses is denied entry into the Promised Land, and only allowed a glimpse of the goal that he's worked so hard for as he is dying. You have to admit, that's quite a disappointment.
But not once during all of these setbacks, does Moses tell God that he gives up.Read more ›
However events would soon interfere and these best crafted, thought out plans were not to be so, nor, does it seem, will they ever be. I found myself instant robbed of meaning at age 46--in short, on the world's stage with no script and, hence, no part.
Rabbi Kushner's work is a deeply moving and profound look at the ultimate "what if..." question that haunts humankind; "What if things don't turn out for good?" His book is spiritual without being mystical; practical without being profane; humane without being overly humanist.
After reading and praying over this book, I've come to the realization that life is precious; that it is something more than to be mastered or even tolerated. Life itself is a sacred mystery, and whether we win or suffer defeat, gain or lose, achieve or fail, truly, that which does not destroy us makes us stronger. This, according to the good and blessed Rabbi, is our goal.
it? Did we fully commit and keep our promises? Can we let go of dreams, yet keep their memory with us, knowing something better is yet to come?
Here's an excerpt:"What can we do with the dreams we have learned we must shed? Can we simply discard them as the embarrassing fantasies of immature youth? I don't see how we can or why we should. They were too much a part of us for too many years for us to pretend we never dreamed those dreams. When life gives us the inevitable message that our marriage will not be the 'happily ever after' we hoped it would, that our children will be other than who we dreamed they would be, that our careers will grind to a halt somewhere short of our imagined goal, and that the only road to sanity and happiness involves freeing ourselves from the tyranny of those dreams and the feelings of failure that accompany their nonfulfillment, what do we do then? We do what Moses did when he realized that his dream of teaching people to walk in Gods' ways would not be realized as easily as he had hoped, when the shattered fragments of the commandments written by the hand of God lay in pieces at his feet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A well written book with numerous literature supports to help anyone begin to accept and understand their role in life.Published 4 months ago by Lindz
The maturity and truth in this book is exactly what we all need. Kushner's books deserve time for serious thought.Published 4 months ago by gary
Rabbi Harold Kushner is an amazing author. This book is what has helped me overcome some of life's setbacks. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have read most of Kushner's books several times over and given them to friends. He is a gifted writer!Published 10 months ago by S. Sikora
I read two or three of Kushner's books years ago, and found them to be incredibly wise and comforting. This one was a disappointment. Read morePublished 11 months ago by marijhuff
This is a very readable book. It is inspiring and persuasive. The illustrations from real-life situations, from religious and non-religious sources alike, make it very practical... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jeri Jehu-Appiah