Arts & Culture

The New Jew Canon: When Bad Things Happen to Good People

The New Jew Canon is a long-term project that seeks to canonize essential Jewish (and some Non-Jewish) reads as recommended by extraordinary rabbis, experts, and cultural leaders. Suggestions are welcome via comments or email. Title: When Bad Things Happen to … Read More

By / March 24, 2008

The New Jew Canon is a long-term project that seeks to canonize essential Jewish (and some Non-Jewish) reads as recommended by extraordinary rabbis, experts, and cultural leaders. Suggestions are welcome via comments or email.

Author:

Harold Kushner

Description:

I didn't read this book when it first came out and everyone was talking about it and saying it changed their lives—it was a best seller and I was a snob. When I grew up and finally did read it, it changed my life too: I assign it every time I teach interfaith chaplains or medical students, when I teach Jewish biomedical ethics or theology to undergraduates. It answers the BIG theological questions from a feeling Jewish perspective: No, God does not give us suffering because God wants to teach us a lesson. No, God does not decide to make certain airplanes stay up in the sky and others crash. Yes, God is present when our community helps us to mourn and to heal.

Recommended By:

Vanessa Ochs is an associate Professor of Religious Studies at UVA and author of Inventing Jewish Ritual, (2007 JPS), winner of a National Jewish Book Award.

The New Jew Canon is a long-term project that seeks to canonize essential Jewish (and some Non-Jewish) reads as recommended by extraordinary rabbis, experts, and cultural leaders. Suggestions are welcome via comments or tips.