Harold Kushner

Harold Kushner

Infobox Person
name = Harold Kushner

image_size =
caption =
birth_date = 1935
birth_place = Brooklyn, New York, United States
death_date =
death_place =
occupation = Rabbi, Conservative Judaism
Author, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"
spouse =

Harold S. Kushner is a prominent American rabbi aligned with the progressive wing of Conservative Judaism.


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

He served as the long time congregational rabbi of Temple Israel of Natick, in Natick, Massachusetts for twenty-four 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, the book deals with questions about human suffering, God, Omnipotence and Theodicy.

Kushner has written a number of other popular theological books, such as "How Good Do We Have to Be?", "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

*"Faith & Family: Favorite Sermons of Rabbi Harold S. Kushner" is Kushner's latest book, published in October 2007.
*"Overcoming Life's Disappointments"
*"When Bad Things Happen to Good People"
*"When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough: The Search for a Life That Matters"
*"Who Needs God"
*"When Children ask about God: A Guide for Parents Who Don't Always Have All the Answers"
*"How Good Do We Have to Be? A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness"
*"Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success"
*"To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking"
*"The Lord Is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-third Psalm"
*"Living a Life that Matters"
*"Practice Random Acts of Kindness: Bring More Peace, Love, And Compassion..."
*"Overcoming Life's Disappointments"


*Kushner offered a reading from the Bible at the State Funeral of Ronald Reagan in the Washington National Cathedral on June 11, 2004.

* In 2007 Rabbi Kushner was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jewish Book Council.

External links

* [http://www.tiofnatick.org/staff.htm#kushner Rabbi Kushner's High Holiday Sermons]
* [http://www.tiofnatick.org Temple Israel of Natick]
* [http://fora.tv/fora/showthread.php?t=457 Rabbi Harold Kushner talks and gives stories in relation to his latest book Overcoming Life's Disappointments (video)]

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