Living a Life That Matters
Resolving the Conflict between Conscience and Success
By Harold S. Kushner
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780375410635, 176pp.)
Publication Date: September 4, 2001
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From the celebrated author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, a profound and practical book about doing well by doing good.
For decades now, from the pulpit and through his writing, Harold Kushner has been helping people navigate the rough patches of life: loss, guilt, crises of faith. Now, in this compelling new work, he ad-dresses an equally important issue: our craving for significance, the need to know that our lives and our choices mean something.
We sometimes do great things, and sometimes terrible things, to reassure ourselves that we matter to the world. We sometimes confuse fame, power, and wealth with true achievement. But finally we need to think of ourselves as good people, and we are troubled when we compromise our integrity in the pursuit of what we think of as success.
Harold Kushner tells us that the path to a truly successful and significant life is through friendship, through family, and through acts of generosity and self-sacrifice. He describes how, in affecting the life
of even one person in a positive way, we make a difference in the world, and prove that we do in fact matter.
Persuasive and sympathetic, anecdotal and commonsensical, Living a Life That Matters inspires and uplifts.
Harold Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in the Boston suburb of Natick, Mass., after serving that congregation for twenty-four years. He is best known as the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, an international best seller first published in 1981. The book has been translated into fourteen languages and was recently selected by members of the Book of the Month Club as one of the ten most influential books of recent years.
He has also written When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough, which was awarded the Christopher Medal for its contribution to the exaltation of the human spirit. In 1995, Rabbi Kushner was honored by the Christophers, a Roman Catholic organization, as one of fifty people who have made the world a better place in the last fifty years. His other books include When Children Ask About God, Who Needs God, To Life, and a 1996 best seller How Good Do We Have to Be? With novelist Chaim Potok, he is co-author of the new Conservative commentary on the Torah, scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2001. His book Living A Life That Matters will be published by Knopf in September 2001.
Rabbi Kushner was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Columbia University. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1960 and awarded a doctoral degree in Bible by the Seminary in 1972. He has six honorary doctorates, has studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and taught at Clark University, Worcester, Mass., and the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. For four years, he edited the magazine Conservative Judaism. In 1999, the national organization Religion in American Life honored him as their clergyman of the year.
"Living a Life That Matters is a wonderful, much-needed primer on the truly important things in life. Many thanks to Harold Kushner for reminding us what we should never forget: that success is not in the bulk of your wallet, but in the weight of your character."
--Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie
"Rabbi Kushner's new book is full of the great stories and subtle wisdom that makes him a genuine spiritual leader for us all in a time of considerable confusion. He blends limitless compassion with sharp analysis to offer a way toward integrity. This is a book you don't want to put down or allow to be too far from you in times of crisis."
--Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul