Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life

by Harold S. Kushner

Book, 2015



Call number

201 KUS


New York, NY Alfred A. Knopf, 2015


"A profoundly inspiring yet practical guide to well-being from one of modern Judaism's most beloved sages.As a congregational rabbi for half a century and the bestselling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and twelve other books on faith, ethics, and how to translate the timeless wisdom of religious thought into dealing with everyday challenges, Harold Kushner knows a thing or two about living a good life. In this compassionate new work, Kushner distills nine essential lessons from the sum of his teaching, study and experience, offering a lifetime's worth of spiritual food for thought, pragmatic advice, inspiration for better living, and strength for trying times. With vital, original insights into everything from belief ("there is no commandment in Judaism to believe in God"), to conscience (the Garden of Eden story as you've never heard it), to mercy ("forgiveness is a favor you do yourself, not a favor to the person who offended you"), grounded in Kushner's brilliant readings of Scripture, history and popular culture, Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life is a capstone addition to Kushner's oeuvre"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Paul-the-well-read
The art book of Harold Kushner I ever read made me an avid fan and led me to reading them all. His thinking, insights, tolerance, compassion and wisdom have helped guide me in my own spiritual development, leading me to greater depths of thought and re-assuring me when many of my own ideas and
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thoughts coin inside with his.
This, his latest book, continued that tradition. He addresses beautifully the statement made by so many, I am not religious, but I am spiritual," by clarifying what that means and implies. He asserts that to have no religion leaves a person without the support thy need, not only in times of trouble, but also in encountering the everyday beauty of life as we live it.
His definition of the concept of "God' is especially strong and clear. God is not the magic Santa Claus who exists outside of us both judging us and answering our prayers. Instead, Good is the great unknown that is with us always, strengthening us through difficulties and giving us the tools to find meaning and enjoyment in life. We are all parts of the divinity of God and our spiritual experience is the discovery of the gold presence within us.
In chapter 6, Kushner quotes another spiritual thinker, Rabbi David Wolpe, who said, "Spirituality is what you feel, theology is what you believe, religion is hat you do." Kushner's book is a wonderful exposition on the fullest meaning of this word.
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