As the title suggests, Blech picks up where Harold Kushner's classic When Bad Things Happen to Good People leaves off, and offers a Jewish corrective to Kushner's view. (For more on Kushner's latest work, see below.) If we believe that we are not at fault for what happens to us, Blech argues, "the feeling that the world is spinning out of control leaves one more frightened than ever." It is this "gloomy anarchistic view" that Blech counters in his "quest for serenity in the face of adversity." Biblical heroes who faced suffering and divine tests-Job, Abraham, Moses among them-serve as models for Blech's questions and answers, which are further enriched by Talmudic and midrashic teachings. Divided into three parts (Why Bad Things Happen to Good People; Why We Die; Why We Suffer), the book addresses prickly and poignant questions like life after death; the death of children; blame and guilt; aging, pain and illness; and faith after the Holocaust. An Orthodox rabbi and the child of Holocaust survivors, Blech offers several perspectives in the hope that each reader will find his or her truth in at least one; all are grounded in his belief that faith holds the answer. We will never be able to fully explain why the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper, he posits; maybe we need the suffering to allow us to mature, change and gain understanding. The bottom line, he stresses, is that "having questions doesn't make you a non-believer. Doubting isn't the same as denying."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.