Tapestry@25: life advice from Rabbi Harold Kushner

Rabbi Harold Kushner became a household name after he published his bestselling book Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. His signature blend of hard-earned wisdom, compassion and straight-talk have made him one of Tapestry’s most requested guests.
(Photo by Ariel Kushner Haber)

Whenever listeners get in touch with Tapestry wanting to hear an interview with Rabbi Harold Kushner again — they're craving something the rabbi brings in abundance. It's his generosity, and grace, and hard-earned wisdom. It's straight-talk (and sometimes tough love), served up with Kushner's trademark affection for his fellow humans.

This week's episode of Tapestry@25 features Kushner, who is one of our all-time most requested guests.

(Submitted by Penguin Random House)

Kushner has been on the programme quite a few times: addressing everything from the spiritual fallout of the Sept. 11 attacks, to feeling afraid without giving in to the fear, to his most famous topic: why do bad things happen to good people?

Kushner's philosophy?

 "In an aphorism: Life is painful if you do it right. Life will inevitably hurt you and the quality you need is not to lead a charmed life so that you'll never be tested. The quality you need is the resilience to get over that. The answer is: live bravely. Live bravely in an unreliable world."

The rabbi is best known for his landmark book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, the story of his little boy's illness and death. Aaron was diagnosed with the premature aging disease, progeria, when he was a toddler; he died just after his 14th birthday. Kushner's book, which has sold millions of copies around the world, is a beautiful meditation on how to cope with life's tragedies, and how to understand them.

This episode contains excerpts from conversations that were originally broadcast on Tapestry in 2006 and 2010.


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