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Harold Samuel Kushner
Born 1935 (age 78–79)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Rabbi, author
Notable work(s) When Bad Things Happen to Good People, When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough
Religion Conservative Judaism

Rabbi Harold Samuel Kushner is a prominent American rabbi aligned with the progressive wing of Conservative Judaism,[citation needed] and a popular author.


Born in Brooklyn, Kushner was educated at Columbia University and later obtained his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in 1960. The same institution awarded him a doctoral degree in Bible in 1972. Kushner has also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, taught at Clark University and the Rabbinical School of the JTS, and received six honorary doctorates.

Congregational Rabbi[edit]

He served as the congregational rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, in Natick, Massachusetts for 24 years and belongs to the Rabbinical Assembly.


He is the author of a best selling book on the problem of evil, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Written following the death of his son, Aaron, from the premature aging disease progeria, the book deals with questions about human suffering, God, omnipotence and theodicy. Aaron was born in 1963 and died in 1977; the book was published in 1981.

Kushner has written a number of other popular theological books, such as How Good Do We Have to Be? (Dedicated to his grandson, Carl), To Life! and many others. In collaboration with the late Chaim Potok, Kushner co-edited Etz Hayim: A Torah Commentary, the new official Torah commentary of the Conservative movement, which was jointly published in 2001 by the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society. His Living a Life That Matters became a best seller in the fall of 2001. Kushner's book, The Lord Is My Shepherd, was a meditation on the Twenty-Third Psalm released in 2003. Kushner also wrote a response to Simon Wiesenthal's question of forgiveness in the book The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness.

List of publications[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Kushner — Please support Wikipedia.
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26 news items

Jewish Daily Forward

Jewish Daily Forward
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 02:46:07 -0700

When I get home, I order a copy from Rosenstein's website, newsiddur.org, and a day later, he sends a personal thank-you, attaching a review by Rabbi Harold Kushner – author of the best-selling book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Kushner's ...

Burlington Times News

Burlington Times News
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:30:00 -0700

Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote the best treatise on this subject titled “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” following the diagnosis of his three-year-old son to a degenerative disease. In this book he writes, “Life is not fair. The wrong people get ...
Dallas Morning News (blog)
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:07:42 -0700

Theologians including Paul Tillich, Harold Kushner, and Rita Nakashima Brock argue that we have overdone things, when it comes to sin. When we expect too much of people, measuring everything they do against the perfect righteousness of God, it is ...
Wicked Local Natick
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 08:07:55 -0700

... Monday and Thursday, 6:45 a.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.; Weekday evening services: 7:30 p.m.; Handicapped accessible; Rabbi: Daniel Liben; Rabbi Laureate: Harold Kushner; Cantor: Ken Richmond; 508-650-3521 x100.
NWAOnline (subscription)
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:33:45 -0700

Rabbi Harold Kushner tells this story: "A woman in my congregation came to see me. She was a single mother, divorced, working to support herself and three young children. She said to me, 'Since my husband walked out on us, every month is a struggle to ...
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:04:13 -0700

The most insightful answer I've heard was given by Rabbi Harold Kushner. While the words of this prayerbook are addressed to God, he noted, the sounds of the Shofar are addressed to us. “It's a wake up call, an alarm clock; as if God were saying to us, ...
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 05:29:29 -0700

When I asked Jack Paskoff, rabbi of Lancaster's Congregation Shaarai Shomayim, where he found help in addressing the problem of evil, he referred me to the 1981 classic volume by Rabbi Harold Kushner. "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," still a ...

Tablet Magazine

Tablet Magazine
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:07:30 -0700

This idea is also reflected in the title of Harold Kushner's famous book When Bad Things Happen to Good People. “Why bad things happen to good people is the wrong question to be asking,” Besser told me. “The right question is, when bad things happen ...

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