cover image To Life!: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking

To Life!: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking

Harold S. Kushner. Little Brown and Company, $21.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-316-50735-6

Kushner, a rabbi and author of the bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People , here presents a wise and lucid guide to what it means to be Jewish. Distilling his extensive study and reflection, he defines the goal of Judaism as ``bringing God into the world'' by sanctifying ordinary events and by helping people to become fully human through their relatedness to others. As he sees it, God's covenant with the Jews means that God and humans have obligations to one another. Kushner illuminates this reciprocal relationship, emphasizing that people exercise free choice in what direction they take toward goodness and articulating Judaism's expectation that social justice will ultimately prevail. His exuberant approach and organic bonds to a living faith pervade this book, which includes chapters on rituals, holidays, prayer, anti-Semitism, Jews' attachment to Israel and Jewish-Christian relations. (Apr.)