I singled out this book as I felt I'd come to a fork in the road of my life. I could choose to be bitter after the premature birth and death of my son or I could try to seek out better ways to live my now very different life. I started this book dubious of its content. I expected to be lectured. Instead I found myself reading with an open mouth; shocked at how accurately my loss was explained. It was as if this wonderfully gifted rabbi had invisibly witnessed the events of my life, the times when my relatives would say the dumbest and most cruel comments. Instead of being talked at, I found I was reading a book a kind friend had written just for me. I am not religious or spiritual, I guess you could say I'm confused, however his book has opened my eyes to a different, kinder religion than the one I had always felt was judgemental.
I have since purchased the anniversary edition and this book will be one of my most treasured possessions. If you feel life has let you down, if you feel every door that was once open has been slammed in your face, if you feel alone in your sorrow and have nowhere else to turn for relief, this book is for you. It won't make the pain go away, but it will make the pain and sorrow less personal. You will no longer feel `why me', you will just realize that it is what it is and that in itself will make your pain easier to cope with. This is certainly how I feel upon it's ending, I hope you experience the same comforts.
As a Young Theology Student, Harold Kushner puzzled over the Book of Job. As a small-town rabbi he counseled other people through pain and grief. But not until he learned that his three-year-old son, Aaron, would die in his early teens of a rare disease did he confront one of life's most difficult questions: Where do we find the resources to cope when tragedy strikes? When Bad Things Happen to Good People offers wise and compassionate advice on how to cope with tragedy, what to do about anger and how to keep from feeling guilty.
After I finished reading this book I felt that I had no more answers than when I had begun.....then I realized that I was trying to read it as an answer to "why" "why do things happen to good people??"
For someone who does not have a sense of what God does for those who love Him this book would help with that answer, for He comes to us to provide comfort to know that we are not alone through our trials. The Bible says that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. As the book states, we don't know the why....but when we reach out to God we will know that He is there.
Kushner's book "Living a Life that Matters" is one of my very favorite books. "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" falls somewhat short of that....but maybe it was my expectation of the book which was at fault.
I would recommend this book to someone who is wondering why you would need God in your life.
I wasn't all that impressed with this Rabbi's beliefs. Although he makes several pertinent and comforting points, he contradicts several of my inherent ideals that make up my God. It was difficult to get past this fact and left me looking for understanding somewhere else and almost angry. "The Shack" helped me tremendously. It never compromised the foundation of my faith yet delivered much needed ideas as to why "shit happens". My God IS all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere. He CAN change any course at any time. Of this, I am sure. Merely because he doesn't intervene, doesn't mean He can't.
Carmen N. reviewed When Bad Things Happen to Good People on
When Rabbi Harold S. Kusher discovers that his son has a progeria, a disease that causes advanced aging, and that he would die as a teenager his way of looking at God and Tragedy changed. In this book he endeavors to teach us all that he learned about dealing with tragedy. He offers a comforting message of love, forgiveness and how to cope when the world becomes unbearable.
I never read self-help books, but I read this at the insistance of one of my best friends, Komal, and I'm glad that I took her advice. It was easy to read, and Mr. Kusher writes in a simple, honest way that is free of bias.
I think that this book has changed the way I look at the world and God and that it will definitely help me to deal with tough times in the future.
I first read this book in the late 1980's when a family member had a life-ending illness. At time it brought me great comfort. Since that time, I have continued to draw from its message. Whenever there is bad, I also see the good that is present. I have also been fortunate to "just happen" to be at a place to give comfort to others. I attribute this book with helping me to realize these opportunities.
I consider this book to be a "must" for people from all faiths, not only those who experience a crisis in their lives but also for those who want to know how to help others. As the years pass, this book seems to become more relevant, not less.
I really agreed with the author about many things he states in the book, things that I've felt all my life but was not the way I was taught in Sunday school, and here is someone echoing my very thoughts and beliefs. Just be for-warned...it may or may not be a comforting book to people who are grieving. I have spoken with people who read the book BECAUSE they were grieving over a tragedy and said it was not what they thought it would be and they disagreed with the author. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be either, but I ended up liking it much better and being glad for what it was.
As a young theology student, Harold Kushner puzzled over the Book of Job. As a small-town rabbi he counseled other people through pain and grief. But not until he learned that his three-year-old son, Aaron, would die in his early teens of a rare disease did he confront one of life's most difficult questions: Where do we find the resources to cope when tragedy strikes? "I knew that one day I would write this book," says Rabbi Kushner. "I would write it out of my own need to put into words some of the most important things I have come to believe and know. And I would write it to help other people who might one day find themselves in a similar predicament. I am fundamentally a religious man who has been hurt by life, and I wanted to write a book that could be given to the person who has been hurt by life, and who knows in his heart that if there is justice in the world, he deserved better. . . . If you are such a person, if you want to believe in God's goodness and fairness but find it hard because of the things that have happened to you and to people you care about, and if this book helps you do that, then I will have succeeded in distilling some blessing out of Aaron's pain and tears." Since its original publication in 1981, When Bad Things Happen to Good People has brought solace and hope to millions. In his new preface to this anniversary edition, Rabbi Kushner relates the heartwarming responses he has received over the last two decades from people who have found inspiration and comfort within these pages.
At a time of loss this book has some inciteful content. It helped to crystalize many concepts I had been developing and I will read it again. that is a big statement for me. usually I only read a book once.
As a young theology student, Harold Kushner puzzled over the Book of Job. As a small town rabbi he counseled other people through pain and grief. But not until he learned that his 3-year-old son Aaron would die in his early teens of a rare disease did he confront the most important and terrifying question a person will ever confront: Why do bad things happen to innocent people? Praised by theologians, psychiatrists, and counselors of all persuasions, this is a very special book for all of us in these times. It offers peace of mind, affirms humanity, and will change the lives of its readers.