Cuando su hijo fue diagnosticado a los tres años de edad con una enfermedad degenerativa que acortaría su vida en la adolescencia, Harold Kushner se enfrentó a una de las preguntas más angustiantes en la vida: ¿Por qué, Dios? Años más tarde, el rabino Kushner escribió esta contemplación sencilla y elegante de las dudas y temores que surgen cuando una tragedia nos golpea la puerta. Kushner comparte su sabiduría como rabino, como padre, como lector y como ser humano. Con múltiples imitaciones que no han logrado superar este original, Cuando a la gente buena le pasan cosas malas es un clásico que nos ofrece pensamientos claros y consolación en períodos de dolor y tristeza.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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An interesting summation of the different ways people act in bad situations. Credible advice on how to deal with people properly when they have been dealt a raw hand, in addition to how to deal with events better in one's own life.more
Rated: A-Are you capable of forgiving and loving the people around you, even if they have hurt you and let you down by not being perfect? Can you forgive them and love them because there aren't any perfect people around, and because the penalty for not being able to love imperfect people is condemning oneself to loneliness.more
After finishing Endo's A Life of Jesus, I turned to the book I picked up yesterday afternoon, this popular book on suffering and God. As great as it felt to read two books in one day, Kushner's book was so light that it wasn't a big feat. This rabbi's work was wrought out of his suffering over a son who died at 14 from a rare rapid aging disorder. Since it's written out of grief rather than scholarly acumen, it carries an extra punch.Kusher's premise is that suffering is not caused by God. He looks at Job and his pastoral experience and finds many of the pat answers unsatisfactory: "it's your fault you're suffering," "God is punishing you," "It serves a purpose or helps you grow," "It is a test of faith," "the virtuous always prosper in the long run," "You only see it as suffering because you are deluded," and "We can't know God's plan" (aka "God works in mysterious ways"). None of these sit right with Kushner, and none are useful pastorally when he is comforting peoples' grief. Rather suffering is caused by human action, the chaos and interdependent situations of the universe, and the natural laws that do not care about human suffering. God loves us and empathizes with the suffering, but is not able to stop all of it. It is up to us to do God's work in stopping suffering.Wait, what? But the Bible is full of God stopping suffering. Miracles happen in the Bible. The Lord takes the Israelites' side in a battle and they win despite outrageous odds. God, through Moses, parts the Sea of Reeds and brings water from the rock and manna from the sky. Yet Kushner, who has a Ph.D. in Bible, doesn't address any of this. Miracles, he says, are unlikely coincidences of natural events, which we should be thankful for but not credit to God. While this follows from his theory of the universe's dealings as random, it doesn't sit well even with his Jewish Biblical tradition. As one of my professors put it, the problem of evil leads to the meanie God (powerful enough to stop suffering but not all-loving) or the weenie God (all-loving but not powerful enough). Kushner adopts the weenie God. The weenie God is in the Bible. Think of the God who had a rough time wrestling Leviathan in Job. But the Psalms echo the almighty power of God time and time again. Kushner doesn't discuss this. God is only an emotional consolation, a psychology, but not an ontological reality who acts in the world. Ultimately, his blind spot is what does him in. I can't accept his metaphysics without throwing out huge parts of the Bible.That said, Kushner has some very, very good pastoral advice. How often we tell wounded people tired cliches that amount to blamingthe victim or telling them they are wrong to be grieved! Job didn't need answers that were theologically correct as much as he needed empathy, compassion, and a receptive ear. Kushner's book has transformed the way I interact with people who suffer. And since it succeed in its goal as a pastoral help, I shouldn't knock its facile philosophy too much. Just take it with a grain of salt.more
This book is well written and the writing style is easy to follow. Rabbi Kushner still has not come to terms with the death of his son. He failed to answer the question: Why do good people suffer?more
Reads almost like a dissertation on the role of God in today's society and how God can be a source of comfort and support in the most trying of times. Looks at the different views we as people hold concerning the Divine and particularly utilizes the story of Job to create thoughtful discussion. Excellent.more
Very helpful insight into questions I've been asking myself. A very real look at grief from someone who's "been there."more
It is the author's view that God does not have control of the physical things that happen to us on Earth. God is there to comfort us though.more
I expected this book to be hokey and filled with the dull HANG IN THERE platitudes of every other self-help-through-hard-times book I've read, but instead I found a perspective on religion that changed my life. As a unitarian, I can't recommend this book enough to fellow Christian Unitarians. However, since the entire basis of it revolves around the nature of God, I can't really recommend it for anyone from a non-religious perspective, which stinks.more
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