All of us must confront loss in our lives. In addressing the pain and suffering often associated with loss, theologians have developed a variety of approaches, from suggesting that the sufferer did something that resulted in punishment to arguing that suffering can cleanse one’s soul. Rabbi Gewirtz dismisses these rationalizations, simply stating that suffering and pain occur as a part of life, sometimes for no reason. The grief that confronts us in those situations, and the ways in which we respond, can, however, offer us an opportunity to learn valuable lessons that we are able to apply to our lives. The author makes his case succinctly, putting deep philosophical and psychological insights into easily understandable language.
Rabbi Arnold D. Samlan is a Jewish educator and rabbi living in Miami, Florida. He serves as executive director of the Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education of Broward County.