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The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person (Jewish Encounters)

The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person (Jewish Encounters) [Kindle Edition]

Harold S. Kushner

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 969 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805242929
  • Publisher: Schocken; 1 edition (2 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate a bit radical 27 Dec 2012
By Michael P. Maslanka - Published on
I read this book yesterday in one sitting, along with the Rober Alter translation from his book "The Wisdom" book. The book was actually written by two people, spererated in time. The first part, which he calls the fable, is short and focuses in on God's bet with Satan. The second part he calls the poem and deals with the extended discussions between Job and his three friends. Rabbi Kushner writes thoughtfully and graciously---he has his view of the meaning of Job but never impugns other views(the next to last chapter provides a useful summary of divergent views. I understand the Rabbi to be saying this:God is all powerful but in the realm of Nature(floods, hurricanes etc) and in the realm of nature with a small "n"(some being genetically blessed, others not) he has ceded control to a random universe. But, and here is the key, in these areas God expects us to be collaborators(my word, not the Rabbi's). He movingly talks about a sermon he gave in New Orleans, where he explained that the residents should not take the calamity as a sign of God's hate because it simply is what it is:a Natural disaster. The more important point is what animated so many to sacrifice for others, using their own boats to rescue their neighbors. He answers:It comes from God and his expectation that we collaborate with Him in buiding a word of justice and decency. The Creator gives us the opportunity to do so. We need only take it. Rabbi Kushner's book is challenging and strecthes the reader, but it is not obtuse nor high handed. A beautiful book to be read again and again.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Good Thing 21 Nov 2012
By P. Zimmer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Book of Job, while well known as a book in the Bible, is not at all an easy book to unravel, and Rabbi Kushner gives us an excellent reading of the book, which untangles a great many difficulties, making it both understandable and relevant. Kushner's insights gleaned from many Jewish as well as Christian sources are insightful and inviting.
The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person rewards the reader with both fresh understanding and challenge.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging book 16 Nov 2012
By William E Hodgson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is actually the first Kushner book I have read and I found it most enlightening. Anyone on a spiritual journey would find it well worth reading, I think.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent discussion of of a facinating book of the Bible 19 Jan 2013
By JeffT - Published on
The Book of Job is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I have accumulated about a dozen commentaries on it over the years. My wife bought this one for me for Christmas and, after reading it, I can say that this book is among the best. In particular, if I was going recommend one book for someone looking for a place to start in learning about the Book of Job, this would be it.

The Book of Job addresses perhaps the most fundamental question people wonder about God: if God is all-powerful and loving, why do good people suffer? Kushner dives into this issue as addressed by the Book of Job in a very clear and concise fashion, discussing traditional interpretations of Judaism and Christianity as well as his own opinions and those of others to provide a well-rounded discussion of the issues involved.

Kushner discusses all of the major areas of controversy in the interpretation of Job including: Was Job a real person or is the book a parable?; Would God allow a person's life to be ruined over a bet?; Who is the Satan in the book? Is God responsible for evil? Why do some good people suffer while some wicked ones prosper?, etc. While one may not agree with all of Kushner's conclusions, you will have, at a minimum, obtained a much better understanding of the various ways in which the issues discussed in the Book of Job can be interpreted.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a study of Job than a casual read 21 Oct 2012
By Nancy J. Mumford - Published on
I expected this to be more like "When bad things happen to good people" and was a little disappointed that this was more of a play by play study of the book of Job. Kushner's insights are brilliant and his warmth brings the scripture to life, but I would recommend this more as a Bible study guide than a discussion of God's role in man's life. This is not a casual read but something that requires thought and study - not really what I was looking for.
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