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When Bad Things Happen to Good People Paperback – August 24, 2004
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Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I read the original version of this book in the early 80's (several times since), and what struck me was that Rabbi Kushner was able to reconcile a common Judeo-Christian view of God and causality with a perspective of life that holds a place for randomness and happenstance. Yes! Things happen in life that God has nothing to do with, and there is a way to find peace in accepting this. For those who enjoy contemplating and discussing the purpose of life, faith, and good & bad, you MUST read this book . . . then set aside some more time for thought and conversation.
If you've ever experienced the untimely loss of a loved one, or been through any traumatizing life experience, get this book. It is personal, thought-provoking, well-written, and very easy to understand. I am certain you will find comfort.
If you're just simply interested in learing about God and the meaning of things in your life from a wonderful man and a great writer, get this book. Without intending to write a best-seller (read his Preface), Rabbi Kushner was able to put into words what I had been trying to figure out (despite loads of "help" from others) concerning God, how we should relate to Him, and what to do about all the things that happen to us during our lives.
This book is important; I give it my highest recommendation.
This book is a comfort for all people who have been forced to swallow such stupid sentiments in their times of grief and loss. It is an exploration of how we comfort each other in such terrifying times, and the dumb mistakes we make. Most of these sentiments wax on about God, why He created a world in which such pain exists: Is this all part of a greater good, a higher order? Is God testing you, expanding your soul for your own good? Has He taken your loved ones to a better place? This book gets right to the heart of the matter, that people in fact say such things as disguised justification for their own lack of understanding. They say things in defense of God to keep their world in order and the senseless tragedy in your life out of theirs. For example, someone might tell you, "God gave this grief to you as a test, because He loved you so very much, and knew you would become a better person for it," (to which the author replies, "If only I had been a weaker person, my daughter would still be alive.")
And yet, author Harold Kushner weaves this with a deep exploration of God and how He helps us and loves us. This is no cheap excuse for shallow religion. The knowledge Kushner shares has obviously been earned through incredible personal pain. You will never feel like some therapist is philosophizing about some subject they know nothing about - this is the Real Deal. Kushner makes no apologies or defense for his anger and pain, and fearlessly questions the ways we comfort each other, and God Himself. Having lost my own faith for a time, I found every word in this book deeply satisfying, the logic pure. Strong recommendation for anyone with deep pain in their life.
I highly recommend this book to all who question God. If you find yourself asking, "How could there be a God when bad things happen to good people?" get this book ASAP!! Rabbi Kushner offers a logical and intelligent answer to this question. He makes sense. If you think you are not a religious person this book will change that.
I am passing this book onto my mother. I know this will bring her comfort.
Thank you Rabbi Kushner for this wonderful insightful book. It has helped me with my grieving!
GOD BLESS YOU!!
This book has a good philosophy. Sometimes things happen for no reason. God is not sitting in heaven sending us bad things. God loves us and cares about us when bad things happen.
Rabbi Kushner says that when bad things happen, we'll ask, "God, why did you let this happen to me?" when a better response is to say, "God, help me with this".
This book helps the reader to remember that when we are dealing with any type of loss, e.g., loss of a loved one, loss of health, loss of home, God loves us and will help us deal with our loss.