• Title: Living a Life that Matters
  • Author: Harold S. Kushner
  • ISBN: 9780385720946
  • Page: 148
  • Format: Paperback
  • Living a Life that Matters Most of us need to feel that we matter in some way perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles corner offices and even fleeting celebrity But most of us also need to feel that we are good
    Most of us need to feel that we matter in some way perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles, corner offices, and even fleeting celebrity But most of us also need to feel that we are good people In this luminous yet practical book of spiritual advice, Harold Kushner bridges the gap between these seemingly irreconcilable needs, showing us how even our smallesMost of us need to feel that we matter in some way perhaps this explains the high value placed on titles, corner offices, and even fleeting celebrity But most of us also need to feel that we are good people In this luminous yet practical book of spiritual advice, Harold Kushner bridges the gap between these seemingly irreconcilable needs, showing us how even our smallest daily actions can become stepping stones toward integrity.Drawing on the stories of his own congregants, on literature, current events and, above all, on the Biblical story of Jacob, the worldly trickster who evolves into a man of God Kushner addresses some of the most persistent dilemmas of the human condition Why do decent people so often violate their moral standards How can we pursue justice without giving in to the lure of revenge How can we turn our relationships with family and friends into genuine sources of meaning Persuasive and sympathetic, filled with humanity and warmth, Living a Life That Matters is a deeply rewarding book.

    One Reply to “Living a Life that Matters”

    1. Years ago I enjoyed reading Rabbi Kushner's When Bad Things Happen to Good People. "Living a Life that Matters" follows in a similar approach; short and concise, but coherent and realistic. A recurring theme throughout the book is the life of the biblical patriarch Jacob, who lived a most interesting life. Early in life he was disengenuous, "stealing" his brother's birthright and then deceiving his father, Isaac. But, what goes around comes around, when he wanted to marry Rachel, and instead his [...]

    2. During my weekly library browsing day last week, I found a book called Living a Life that Matters by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. I had been looking for another book to read that would give insight into living life for and with God. However, there have been few authors recently that write on this subject that I have been able to get into. This was a quick read, insightful, and I had a hard time putting it down.In a world where we can feel ignored or lost in the crowd, overwhelmed by all the pressure [...]

    3. This is a thought-provoking (and thought-consolidating) book, just what I would expect from Rabbi Kushner. The good Rabbi reminds us that what is truly important in life rarely has anything to do with the size of our bank accounts, the number of rooms in our houses, or the number of toys we own. Rather, it has more to do with the quality of our relationships, the strength of our character, and the steadiness of our personal growth. Rabbi Kushner takes us on a thoughtful journey of the mind and h [...]

    4. This is an important book - it deals thoughtfully with many aspects of our existence, beginning with helping us to conceptualize our dual needs/goals of success and significance. On the whole, it is written in a straightforward, common sense style, refreshingly free of dogma and cant. As such, then, it delivers piercing insights into our human nature and our (need for/ inclination toward) spirituality that are as convincing as they are clear. After having been disappointed by his earlier, far be [...]

    5. I loved this book so much, I bought copies as gifts to share with others. Kushner gathers together material from many great souls and shares their combined wisdom in a lovely narrative interwoven with biblical exegesis.Some of my favorite quotes from this book:p.145 As Mother Teresa said, "Few of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love."p.158 " A good person, even in death, is still alive."p. 154 "If a person has known love, has felt and given love, that person' [...]

    6. Loved it! Kushner has a way of making all of us feel better about ourselves yet want to strive to be better. His use of the biblical Jacob to explain the internal conflicts within us all was fascinating. Kushner is an intelligent yet thoughtful writer.

    7. One of my favorite authors. He is most famous for writing "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." This book weaves philsophy and religion in a common sense practical approach that is applicable to everyday life.

    8. I love the words of Harold Kushner. Though, I am not Jewish what he writes is timeless and for anyone who truly wants to become a better person. I finished this book last month but I already have started to reread the book. The book definitely should be read many times.

    9. This is the first work written by Harold Kushner. I had heard of "Living a Life That Matters" and was looking forward to reading it. I would have to say that I appreciated the way that Rabbi Kushner used examples from the Bible, the Torah, and his conversations with people to emphasize points throughout the book.I found him to be honest, to the point, yet not condemning, preachy, or self-righteous. I also greatly appreciated his sense of humor. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wh [...]

    10. An excellent book! Rabbi Kushner has a way of talking to everyone. Thought provoking. . . insightful. . . inspiring. Would recommend this to anyone.

    11. Kushner again exercises his gift of finding practical wisdom in religious stories of the Old Testament. Here he finds much to extract from the life of Jacob (who eventually changes his name to Israel, which means “One Who Struggles with God”). Jacob struggled with many—his father, his brother, his father-in-law—but mostly with himself. And should not we all struggle with ourselves? Kushner counsels that it is only good people who feel guilty. Evil people rarely feel guilt—they deny, th [...]

    12. One of the wisest, insightful books I have ever read was When Bad Things Happen to Good People. I, truly, learned some valuable lessons from Rabbi Kushner's wise, thoughtful advice about life, and about how to respond to tragedy. To use a word from The Simpsons, his insights into the human condition embiggened me. This slim volume is more of the same. People struggle, the Rabbi rights, with two conflicting parts of their soul: the desire to be well-known, successful, a 'somebody' and the desire [...]

    13. Living a Life that Matters uses the story of Jacob in The Book of Genesis as the background for discussion regarding why and how a person should live a life that matters.Harold Kushner is a Rabbi so his logic carries a spiritual component. However, his writing is devoid of self righteousness. Using stories and references to popular culture he argues that integrity defines character. He tempers his words with sensitivity and understanding to explain that personal development is an ongoing process [...]

    14. I had an "aha" moment as I read Chapter 4. Several other books came to mind, to bring into focus the concept of Purgatory. It's my belief that the pain of Purgatory is caused by us coming to full realization of our sins and the pain that we caused other people, and our contribution to the evil of society. In Heaven, we will be with lots of other forgiven souls, some of them who have hurt us in the past, and some who we have hurt. Yet we will be living in full harmony, with no ill feelings. Chapt [...]

    15. I was debating whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. On the negative side, this book overuses God in crafting a vision for life. Of course this is natural coming from a Rabbi, but a more secular message could have resonated with a larger audience. Also, there was one downright sexist comment that made me mad.On the bright side, Kushner writes with a compassionate voice and has a deep understanding of the human psyche, including our wish to transcend death, the capacity to forgive though wantin [...]

    16. when I read my first kushner book, "when bad things happen to good people", I was in a place where I needed that book. I was lost and confused and needing to find direction again in a world that no longer made sense when compared against the idealistic worldview I'd always subscribed to. I needed to read a book that was not the Bible but contained the sort of timeless wisdom that book, I believe, contains.I am no longer in that place. Yet I still wanted to give Kushner another try, wanted to lea [...]

    17. Being in my early 50's, I'm at the time of my life that a lot of thoughts are circling around my grey matter. A lot is about the years that have passed, and the time left, and what have you done with the time. Initially it was a cause for concern. But after reading Harold Kushner's book, 'Living A Life That Matters', I have reason to be encouraged. In this book, Kushner gives great advice on living a life, that you are happy that basically you have given as much as you've received. Now this does [...]

    18. This book came to me at just the right time in my life I just turned 42 and I am trying to make sense of what to do with my time now that the responsibilities of parenting are not quite so demanding. This book is a well-written reminder that our lives must intersect with other lives to have meaning. As a Rabbi, Kushner uses the story of Jacob as a running metaphor through the book. Jacob starts as a devious trickster, but then wrestles with God one night and becomes whole. He leaves the world a [...]

    19. This is the third (I think) of Kushner's books I've read now in the past year. He has a knack for taking literature and Biblical references and applying them to contemporary daily lives in a way that is both thought-provoking and inspiring. I found much of what he wrote to be affirming; it's easy to see why he's been so successful as both a rabbi and a sort of "self-help" author. This particular book helps one understand why knowing oneself is critical to being able to move forward in life, and [...]

    20. I was put off by the many references to the Bible. The title and description of this book does not indicate that it has such an extreme Judeo-Christian foundation. For those who seek that type of a book, I'd probably give this book a higher rating. However, I did not feel this book adequately addressed what the title proclaims: to resolve a conflict between conscience and success, or how to live a life that matters outside of religious proclamations, in fact. I'd recommend it only for those who [...]

    21. I wasn't thrilled with this book, but others may enjoy it. Some good reminders of what's important in life (love, doing good, integrity, friendship, etc), but the supporting arguments were mostly uninspiring to me.Most often cited where stories from Christian and Jewish texts, novels, plays, and movies. I found those mostly uninspiring. There were a couple personal stories from the author's life or people he had met, that although being anecdotal, were somewhat inspiring to me.My overall opinion [...]

    22. I was disappointed. I agree with the premise that it matters how you live your life and love is what is primary. But Biblical story after Biblical story left me cold - Kushner writes about them as if they were actual events rather than mythology (and to be fair, he probably does believe that to be the case) and most of those stories depict people who behaved in astoundingly unethical ways. Making a case for living a life that values kindness, compassion and connections to others can be done with [...]

    23. I read his seminal Why Bad Things Happen To Good People years ago in college for a Philosophy class. It was a formative study. He's just as powerful here. I especially enjoyed his theories on forgiveness vs. revenge. He presents excellent, well thought arguments on the benefit or better yet the necessity of forgiveness even for the most atrocious crimes.I also enjoyed thinking about and reading his take on aging and specifically on purpose in life.Overall, it was a thoughtful and thought-provoki [...]

    24. I had not read a book by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner in years. However, I found this one on my daughter's bookcase and the topic intrigued me. As I get older, I do hope that my life has made a difference for someone else. I would like to be remembered as a good person. Kushner believes that it is the little things we do that have a positive impact.I would say that nothing Kushner says is new, but very little that is written about the meaning of life is. However, if you need a little inspiration to b [...]

    25. What a lovely writer Mr. Kushner is. I've intrigued by the titles of his books for a while but this is my first reading of one of them. I think this book met me at the right time, at a time when I am questioning if the work I do matters and trying to understand why it is such a struggle. I think I get it now. I'm only speaking for my current situation, but I don't get to show love. And that simple obstruction sapped my sense of purpose and meaning. Very interesting. To be able to experience a mo [...]

    26. I like this author - he makes sense to me. In a nutshell, living a life that matters involves being a nice, helpful person who sends positive vibes into society. You may not even know who/when/how you are affecting. This could be related to recent research that shows that happy people affect others' happiness even a few people removed. Kusshner uses the story of Jacob throughout his book as an example.

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