Praise for Why God Why?

Not many religious thinkers deal with the greatest intellectual and emotional obstacle to religious faith—the unjust suffering that so many people experience. And even fewer deal with this subject as honestly, persuasively, and helpfully as Gershon Schusterman. Whatever your religion, or even if you identify with no religion, it is hard for me to imagine a person who would not find some—and quite possibly much—comfort from Why, God, Why? It is a great achievement.
Dennis Prager
Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Cofounder, PragerU, and author of The Rational Bible
At last, a truly Jewish answer to pain and suffering that frames the subject with meaning, creating a path to resolution and comfort.
Lori Palatnik
Lori Palatnik
Author and founding director,
This book is a journey into the most heartrending question of all, the one that stuns us each time anew. It has grown out of personal loss and grief, yet also with conviction and resoluteness borne of faith. It will challenge you, expand your horizons, and stimulate your mind and heart.
Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson
Renowned Jewish lecturer, teacher, and dean of
Rabbi Schusterman proves that he is a leading, powerful, and gentle teacher of the human condition. His teachings are not only for the Jewish world but are relatable to people of all faiths everywhere. Through his story, we understand that though we cannot choose what life brings us, we can choose how to find peace and meaning in what has occurred. I hope I never “need” to use this book, yet if I do, it is a great comfort to know that it has been written.
Gary Wexler
Former Professor, USC Annenberg School of Communication, Advertising Executive
For anyone who has suffered tragedy and wondered how God allowed it to happen, Rabbi Gershon Schusterman offers this sensitive, insightful, and hopeful book. Based on his own personal experience, he delves into timeless Jewish wisdom and shares reassuring answers to the question of ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ Rabbi Schusterman’s book will help enable people who suffer tragedy to survive and hopefully thrive.
Joseph Lieberman
Former US Senator and Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee
Every person of faith must confront the question, why do the righteous often suffer while the wicked prosper? Rabbi Schusterman brings not only his vast experience and learning as a Torah scholar to provide an answer, but also his own devastating loss. With empathy, enthusiasm, and a profoundly engaging approach to such a difficult subject, the good rabbi offers a tract for the ages. Read this book!
Salvador Litvak
Writer, Director, Accidental Talmudist
The question of how a God of kindness, compassion, and fairness can allow and enable suffering and loss is the most difficult issue in Judaism—indeed, in any ethically based religious system. Moses struggled to understand it, Job and his friends fiercely debated it, but none of us has a complete answer. Rabbi Gershon Schusterman offers us a perspective that sheds light into a dark and frightening corner of reality. His valuable insights emerge from his impeccable Torah scholarship and from the agonizing crucible of personal experience with deep tragedy. His credibility to address these sensitive issues will not only impart understanding but also provide solace, comfort, courage and resilience. We owe him a debt of gratitude.
Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz
Rav, Kehillat Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem, Israel

Reader Reviews

I just finished reading your book. This is a chef-d’oeuvre! Congratulations. I had read “When bad things happen to good people” by Rabbi Kushner many years ago, but that book didn’t impress me at all. “Why God Why”, on the other hand, is deeply inspirational, educational and informative. It is a must read for anyone going through some hard times.
Your book is a must-read. It gives a real spiritual and yet down to earth perspective on what, without it, would be a meaningless set of senseless and at times cruel happenstances.
Have you unexpectedly lost someone you loved? Are you troubled by the unfairness of it? If so, this book may help you cope with your loss and doubts. Gershon Schusterman spent 36 years thinking these issues through. He offers wisdom and compassion, based on religious insights.

I read this book both as a manuscript and in print form and I think it may be a helpful resource for some people in pain.

The book is:

Why God Why? How to Believe in Heaven When it Hurts Like Hell, by Rabbi Gershon Schusterman.

Rabbi Schusterman lost his 36-year-old wife and was left with 11 children. He writes of his journey to dig deep and own every answer he was telling himself and others.

The book is written in an extremely conversational style—an easy read—but in no way one that minimizes or simplifies things. It is deep and demanding of the reader but in a kind way. That’s the way it felt for me.

The author weaves his experiences with stories and sources and philosophical debates. The book was written in a way that would be a welcome read for unaffiliated Jews as well as observant Jews so he weaves classic Torah thoughts with quotes from some psychological sources but it is very clear throughout the book that the author is steeped in Torah views and that is his primary lens through which all ideas are viewed.

I read it during a period of immense pain and it was so humbly done that I couldn’t resist it. I gently shared it with a teen who was not finding many reads satisfactory because essentially she needed something that would balance head and heart pain—she is almost done and said she will absolutely be reading it again.

As with all books of this nature: it is not for everyone. It is also not meant to be imposed on someone. But I found it to be an excellent hidden gem that would be helpful to know about.

Scroll to Top