The Book of Job
When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person
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About the author
Harold S. Kushner is rabbi laureate of Temple Israel in the Boston suburb of Natick, Massachusetts. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he is the author of more than a dozen books on coping with life’s challenges, including, most recently, the best-selling Conquering Fear and Overcoming Life’s Disappointments.
Part of the Jewish Encounter series
From one of our most trusted spiritual advisers, a thoughtful, illuminating guide to that most fascinating of biblical texts, the book of Job, and what it can teach us about living in a troubled world.
The story of Job is one of unjust things happening to a good man. Yet after losing everything, Job—though confused, angry, and questioning God—refuses to reject his faith, although he challenges some central aspects of it. Rabbi Harold S. Kushner examines the questions raised by Job’s experience, questions that have challenged wisdom seekers and worshippers for centuries. What kind of God permits such bad things to happen to good people? Why does God test loyal followers? Can a truly good God be all-powerful?
Rooted in the text, the critical tradition that surrounds it, and the author’s own profoundly moral thinking, Kushner’s study gives us the book of Job as a touchstone for our time. Taking lessons from historical and personal tragedy, Kushner teaches us about what can and cannot be controlled, about the power of faith when all seems dark, and about our ability to find God.
Rigorous and insightful yet deeply affecting, The Book of Job is balm for a distressed age—and Rabbi Kushner’s most important book since When Bad Things Happen to Good People.
From the Hardcover edition.
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In the press
“A current, accessible examination of a difficult and wondrous jewel of world literature.”
“Kushner skillfully analyzes this complex story, surveying many sources along with offering his own impressive interpretation.”
“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.