THE BOOK OF JOB
When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person
By Harold S. Kushner
Shocken. 202 pp. $24
In 1977, Harold S. Kushner’s son died of progeria — rapid aging syndrome — at age 14. A few years later, Kushner published “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” a bestseller that helped parents who had lost children to wrestle with life’s unfairness. In “The Book of Job,” the rabbi and biblical scholar re-examines one of the Old Testament’s more horrible stories, that of a man of faith whom, in a plot straight out of horror flicks such as “The Exorcist” or “The Strangers,” God tortures to settle a bet with the devil.
“The book of Job is a full-length argument about whether the misfortunes that befall ostensibly good people come to them from the hand of God,” Kushner writes. “If we want to believe that ours is a moral world, the scene of justice and fairness, we need to confront the arguments presented in what is probably the most challenging book in the entire Bible.”