Attempts to universalize the specific suffering of Jews in the Shoah go hand in hand with efforts to de-legitimize the Jewish state
HAROLD KUSHNER is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in the Boston suburb of Natick. He is best known as the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, and ten other books, many of them best-sellers. He has been honored by the Christophers, a Roman Catholic organization, as one of fifty people who made the world a better place in the 20th Century.
The Jewish Encounter series will be complemented with Rabbi Kushner’s forthcoming popular introduction to the Book of Job. Rabbi Kushner has spent years brooding over Job—as a young doctoral student in Bible, rattled by recent revelations of the Holocaust, he contemplated a dissertation on the biblical character, only to find himself deferring the challenge. The book continued to haunt him, as a congregational rabbi counseling the bereaved, and as the father of a child taken young by terminal illness. He has finally returned to the subject with which he had planned to begin his scholarship, and has produced a book that understands the biblical world that produced “Job” as well as the modern world that continues to cry out for answers to life’s deepest mysteries. The book explores the biblical answer to the question of why God permits good people to suffer, as understood by people through the centuries and in our post-Holocaust age.