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Overcoming Life's Disappointments Hardcover – Aug 15 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (Aug. 15 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400040574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400040575
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.3 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,123,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. When life does not unfold as planned, Rabbi Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People) strongly but sympathetically urges his readers to take inventory, learn from their experiences and move on with an open heart. Who better to learn from, he contends, than Moses, the greatest hero of the Jewish people? Moses not only led the Jews from slavery in Egypt and through the desert for 40 years to receive the Torah, but had to continually bear the ingratitude and complaints of his people, and relegate his personal life to a distant second place. Threading vignettes of Moses' resiliency into his discussion, Kushner advises that when personal difficulties arise—whether in the form of illness, marital problems or job frustrations—readers should not allow their faith and dreams to die. Rather, they should draw upon hope and forgiveness to become stronger, channeling their love and fear toward a dream that incorporates the best of who they are. Kushner does not shy away from difficult issues and awkward dilemmas, and his years of rabbinical experience in dealing with congregants' troubles make him well suited to offer advice. This readable and sensitive discussion of "Life is tough; let's be strong enough not to be broken by it" should appeal to anyone who has ever been disappointed. (Aug. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Rabbi emeritus Kushner, author of, among other titles, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (1981), scores another hit with book number 10, which is based on the theme and philosophy of his previous best-sellers. His idea is to explain the inexplicable in terms that turn negatives into ways of coping. Kushner skillfully uses the tale of Moses to manage the oh-so-true statement, "Nobody gets everything he or she yearns for." Forbidden to enter the Holy Land? Having wandered for 40 years and endured complaints and rebels, Moses was tired; another leader deserved to take the lead. Plus, reading into the Bible and other religious tomes, the author finds that Moses ignored his family--a critical element comprising the complete life. Moses is not the only example used. Abraham Lincoln was weighed down by depression--or, in his case, what doesn't kill us makes us strong. Sondheim's second act of Into the Woods underscores the importance of assessing broken dreams and forging new ones. Joseph Campbell of mythology fame is cited, as are Tevye and wife from Fiddler on the Roof, among many others. In all, the universal lessons for overcoming disappointment remain simple yet profound: remember who you're working for, substitute new dreams for old, keep promises, be humble, maintain life's priorities, forgive and forgive, and always dare to dream. Amen. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rabbi Kushner uses the story of Moses, as told in the Bible, to illustrate that although life can involve great sorrow, it also contains great happiness - and you can't have one without the other. The focus of the book is looking at ways to overcome the inevitable disappointments in life. Fortunately, it is not a formulaic how to be happy type of book.
Although based on the Bible's account of Moses' life, the message is universal and can be of help to members of all religions or those who do not hold religious beliefs.
It is written in Rabbi Kushner's typical down-to-earth and easy to relate to style. While the ideas on how to overcome disappointments are not new, they are presented in such a way that they give one a fresh view and useful reminder.
There are some contradictions in the book, such as talking in one chapter of how Moses' burden made him old before his time, and in another how bright and energetic Moses was in spite of his advancing age. However, these do not detract from the overall quality of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 59 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zusya, Why Were You Not Zusya? Nov. 18 2007
By Molly - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my life I've read a huge number of books, to the point that some ideas are becoming to pop up over and over again, but with Kushner's books, new insight poses itself regularly. I find myself underlining or highlighting, or feeling inclined to anyway, most of the book. There are so many tidbits in this book that I love that it's hard to single out one to share. One I liked: An old rabbi named Zusya was nearing death and became agitated at the thought. As he had led an exemplary life, his followers asked why. He said, if God asks me why I wasn't another Moses, I can answer that He did not give me the greatness of soul that He gave Moses. If God asks me why I wasn't another Solomon, I can answer that He did not give me the wisdom of Solomon. But when He asks me, Zusya, why weren't you Zusya, why were you not the person I gave you the ability to be, I will have no defense. Kushner's books are a blessing to me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 10 2016
By Oliver Gene Wells - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Rabbi Kushner at his best.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 3 2016
By Ron Edmundson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life wisdom and inspiration May 20 2009
By Howard Koor - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another solid book by Harold Kushner. He keeps getting better and better. This book addresses coming to terms with loss and adds perspective and inspiration to modern problems and challenges. His use of biblical references and the lessons that they have to share with all of us is priceless. It is a book that I read again and again for inspiration.
4.0 out of 5 stars overcoming lifes disappointments Feb. 8 2008
By Melanie Jordan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rabbi Kushner is such a great writer. His style is direct and personal. It is easy to read and follow. You can skip around from chapter to chapter and still gain a lot of insight. It does not necessarily have to be read from cover to cover. Rabbi Kushner is obviously very grounded and in touch with what people need to know and how to convey information that can be quite philosophical.