Customer Reviews for

Living a Life That Matters

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2006

    Two words...How empowering!

    I think every other page in the book is creased for a different quote that I found helpful. If you are looking for some kind of direction in your life, this book is the perfect start. You do not even have to be religious to appreciate the book, just open-minded.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2004

    ROBCIS, Enterprises

    This is a powerful book. A look at the title would lead one to believe it is another one of those self-help tomes, but to the contrary. It is a book about self-exploration and reflection. The author uses the life of Jacob, the bible figure in the book of Gensis, as part of his backdrop in a discussion of life, love, trials, struggles, friendship, and our imprint on family, friends, society and the universe at large. I particularly like how he tied the story of Jacob and his struggle with the angel, with our own inner struggles, our quest to understand life itself, our relationship with others, and most importantly the connection with God. This is a worthwhile read. There is no doubt that as you journey through this book you will begin to conduct a self-inventory and assess who you are, and the legacy you wish to leave behind.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012



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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2002

    A must read!!!!!!

    this is a wonderful book to read. The use of biblical figures to explain the message Kushner tries to relay to his readers is nothing short of brilliant. i would highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2001

    The Personal and Social Significance of Doing Good

    Rabbi Kushner has woven a fascinating series of essays together to establish a new way to think about the meaningfulness of your life choices. Spiritually, he finds many people torn between the desire to achieve significance and the call of the consciences. Like the young Jacob, some will obtain their desires by cutting corners that offend their consciences. Drawing on his many years as a rabbi, he shares what he has learned at many death beds. Few people are concerned about dying. Those who have done good things in their lives are almost always at peace. Those who regret the timing of their deaths wish for a little more time, so that they might yet leave some marks of goodness behind them. From that perspective, he gently points out that we can achieve both the significance and the clear conscience that we crave by focusing our attention on have positive influences on others in supporting roles as family member, friend, and occasional helping hand to strangers. The move, It¿s a Wonderful Life, is used as an example. The Jimmy Stewart character doesn¿t realize how all the little things he did affected so many lives, which in turn affected so many other lives. We, too, tend to be blind to the potential influence we have. The book has a kindness and gentleness that make its message welcome and warming. ¿I believe in you. I believe that you have the ability to do great things, things that will change the world for the better.¿ I share that belief and am delighted that Rabbi Kushner has written this book. In chapter one, the subject is the two voices of God. This essay considers the models of competition with others and our heart-felt desire to share compassion, and how the two often operate at odds with one another in young people. He ascribes the competition to a desire for significance, that many psychologists would echo as a deep human need. In chapter two, the story of Jacob¿s transformation from trickster to being firmly founded in God¿s will is featured. I especially liked the way that the pain of winning by trickery and being tricked in turn by Laban probably affected how Jacob felt about himself. In chapter three, you are encouraged to decide what kind of person you want to be. Rather than ask all to seek perfection in sainthood, he argues for a mixture of human competitiveness and compassion that allows us to strive and to care. This chapter includes interesting references to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and an episode of the original Star Trek series in which Kirk is divided into a good and a bad version by a transporter problem. In chapter four, there is an interesting discussion of the psychological impacts of justice from the point of view of those who are harmed. The experience of South Africa¿s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is recounted along with a new type of trial in the United States where attempts are made to improve how the victims and their families feel. In chapter five, you will learn about how wholeness (personal integrity) can be achieved. The primary example is that of Mr. Aaron Feuerstein, CEO of Malden Mills, who rebuilt his factory after a disastrous fire while keeping his employees on full salary for the first three months. In chapter six, the key concept is that God¿s presence is manifested on Earth in our relations with those we love, both family and friends. Chapter seven explores the notion of how supporting roles have big impacts too. Most of us can have these roles. If we were movie actors, we could even get an Academy award for doing this well. Chapter eight is a thoughtful discussion of our influence on other people. I particularly liked the reference to The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and how all those who died had recently learned how to love. Young people often write to me to find out the theme of that book, and don¿t understand it even after lots of hints about what those who died had in common. Perhaps you have to

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2011

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