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When Bad Things Happen to Good People Audio CD – Audiobook, 5 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (5 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307702235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307702234
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 15.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,392,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Out of a faith-shaking and senseless waste of a life comes this remarkable and caring book, which will help many. It has sensible and unorthodox and mind-opening things to say about God - and about ourselves. Its author has wisdom and no bitterness. We can learn from him, about acceptance and guilt and despair and the helplessness we all feel when 'none of it makes sense' when we say 'why them?' or worse 'why us?'. We owe him our thanks' David Kossoff 'Rabbi Kushner writes from a wealth of Jewish wisdom and pastoral devotion, but his theology is, I find, is wholly in keeping with contemporary Christian thought. So far as there is an answer to the conflict between the goodness of God and the bitterness of suffereing, this is it' Gerald Priestland 'It will bring new meaning, strength and hope to many' Dame Cicely Saunders, DBE, FRCP --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Book Description

For everyone who has been hurt by life - here is a book that heals. The 20th Anniversary edition with a new introduction. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
There is only one question which really matters: why do bad things happen to good people? Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Ms. R. M. Bash-Taqi on 26 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book 4 weeks after my 17-year old son, Ibrahim Ditto, died on 24 November 2010.

My son was feeling very well and went to play basketball. He felt dizzy and next we knew he was in intensive care. Doctors could not find what was wrong with him and neither did the autopsy. We had to wait weeks before his body was released to us for burial.

I had some big why questions.

This book was very easy to read so that made it easy for me access at a time when my concentration levels were probably not at their best.

The book does present quite a paradigm shift which I continue to struggle with. Before I read the book I believed that God was all powerful and that he pre-planned everything. So in that sense what happened to my son was pre-ordained and there was nothing we could do about it. It was his destiny. This held some consolation for me (no guilt) but did leave me with the question why would God plan this for me - even if there is a higher purpose - it does seem quite cruel.
Kushner introduces a kinder God who does not necessarily pre-plan everything. In fact I finish the book with a much clearer definition of God ...God is the good in all of us, God is love.

As to whether my son died because it was his destiny - yes to some extent, but not pre-ordained by God. Rather, I believe it was due to chance and some bad luck - he happened to have suffered from something which we don't yet understand and therefore could not diagnose or treat. It is this same chance that has brought us a lot of luck in our life including the blessing of having a son like him.
I hope this review helps people with questions, to make the choice about whether this book will be helpful for them.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mdem on 21 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Harold Kushner's book is an essential read for anyone who has experienced suffering, loss or the injustices in life. He does not provide solutions. However, it is his philosophical approach, that I find powerful, and reassuring for anyone who is suffering. I have given this book to so many friends and colleagues who are faced with situations that are tragic.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By evelynmcgonagle@hotmail.com on 2 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book many years ago and often recommended it to friends undergoing tragic events in their lives. Recently I decided to buy it and read it again. It is a truly wonderful little book. Rabbi Kushner does not attempt to answer the "why" questions at all really. He is more concerned with reaching out to those who endure unbearable sufferings with words of comfort and consolation. The message applies to people of all religions and none ..... Essential reading for anyone who just doesn't know what to say when faced with the pain of a loved one that they feel powerless to alleviate - buy it!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Treagust on 30 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
We have had two completely unexplicable, unimaginably tragic suicides in our immediate family. This book has helped us to cope where friends and church have lacked the capacity to make sense of the senseless.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reader Smith on 26 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
Sensitive and supportive for anyone who is suffering bereavement and trying to make sense of it. He has such a clear sensible way of describing the place of God in it all.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By tammy on 7 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
At a time of crisis many of us don't know where to turn to, what to think, say or do.
This book doesn't give 'the answer' but it gives support at a time of need. A thought provoking book which I read quickly and found worthwhile.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jun. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Every physician who treats patients with malignancies is faced with the question by the patient "why me". The patient, if religious, feels abandoned or has a covert feeling of guilt or even that he is being punished by a higher force. This adds to his already present physical distress. Rabbi Kushner presents a rational arguement that the metaphysical has no relationship to our physical pain in life. He brings illness into the realm of reason and away from theological absurdities that were a carry over from Biblical mythologies.
The author gives the patient and his family an understanding that medical problems are just that and are not Gods way of punishing the innocent or abandoning the good, He gives the caring physician an opportunity to talk with his patients in a rational manner free of philosophical absurdities.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By M. Partyka on 26 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very comforting book. I read soon after our beloved angel-daughter was diagnosed with a fatal disease and it did offer some feeling of peacefulness till the end. Although written by a religious man it was usefull for me who is not religious at all.
All of you who are going through a very difficult patch in their lives - this is one book for you.
It is a great book also for those who would like to learn more about handling their friends' or relatives' tragedies. This book gives you tips what to do and what to say and most importantly what not to say (the dreaded 'It is better that way et al'.) Although written by a rabbi, it should be mandatory for all priests of all religions to teach them how to handle grief and pain.
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