As a congregational rabbi for half a century and the best-selling author of twelve books on faith, ethics, and how to apply the timeless wisdom of religious thought to everyday challenges, Rabbi Harold S. Read more...
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As a congregational rabbi for half a century and the best-selling author of twelve books on faith, ethics, and how to apply the timeless wisdom of religious thought to everyday challenges, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner has demonstrated time and again his understanding of the human spirit. In this compassionate new work, his most personal since When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Kushner relates how his time as a twenty-first-century rabbi has shaped his senses of religion and morality. He elicits nine essential lessons from the sum of his teaching, study, and experience, offering a lifetime's worth of spiritual food for thought, pragmatic advice, inspiration for a more fulfilling life, and strength for trying times.
With fresh, vital insight into belief ("there is no commandment in Judaism to believe in God"), conscience (the Garden of Eden story as you've never heard it), and mercy (forgiveness is "a favor you do yourself, not an undeserved gesture to the person who hurt you"), grounded in Kushner's brilliant readings of Scripture, history, and popular culture, Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life is compulsory reading from one of modern Judaism's foremost sages.
Distilling the wisdom of an extraordinary career, this profoundly inspiring yet practical guide to well-being is truly the capstone to Kushner's luminous oeuvre.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-31
- Reviewer: Staff
As he enters his eighth decade, Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People) offers a capstone volume to his decades as a congregational rabbi and popular writer. In sharply intelligent yet friendly prose, Kushner provides a thoughtful living guide for doubters and the faithful alike. There are pointed but gracious admonitions for those claiming that a self-developed religion is all they need. Your daily paper, spring flowers, and gratitude are not enough, Kushner says: when facing serious illness or other disasters, you need the support of a faith tradition and a community that has "learned to find God in the shadows as readily as in the sunshine." Kushner braids together stories from his professional and personal life—longtime readers will remember that his son died at age 14 of a rare rapid-aging disease—alongside wisdom from biblical and theological texts and commentary on events related to science, culture, and literature. This book is a provocation and a balm for the skeptical and the religious, offering persuasive evidence that belief, forgiveness, hope, altruism, and joy are all possible, even in the face of death. (Sept.)