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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.
“This is a book all humanity needs. It will help you understand the painful vicissitudes of this life and enable you to stand up to them creatively.” —Norman Vincent Peale
“One of Kushner's strengths always has been his ability to empathize, to understand the pain of others on a personal level, and to share his gentle wisdom in an accessible manner.” —The Plain Dealer
“A touching, heartwarming book for all those who must contend with suffering, and that, of course, is all of us.” —Andrew M. Greeley
“Whether religious or not, this book will speak because it touches—profoundly, but simply—on questions no parent and no person can avoid.” —Harvey Cox, Harvard Divinity School
“When Bad Things Happen to Good People offers a moving and humane approach to understanding life's windstorms.” —Elisabeth Kübler-Ross