Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life

Albert A. Knopf  2015


The latest volume from Rabbi Harold Kushner has a title that describes only the surface of the insights contained therein. In this compact book, the reader is treated to the author’s reflections on God (and what “God” does and doesn’t mean), the roles that rabbis need to play today, the importance of community, and the centrality of people’s questions in defining what it means to be Jewish in the twenty-first century. As always, Rabbi Kushner writes in a way that makes deep religious thought accessible to the casual reader while giving the more sophisticated reader a great deal to ponder.

Throughout the book, both personal experiences as well as texts from Jewish sources and beyond are brought to bear on each of the nine “things” that the author has learned. Regardless of your personal theology, and whether or not it aligns perfectly with Rabbi Kushner’s, this is a book that will stimulate your mind and encourage you to examine what are the lasting lessons in your life.

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