The Tragedy Test
Making Sense of Life-Changing Loss
A Rabbi’s JOURNEY
From the Preface:
Why did this happen? To me of all people? How could God let it? Why do good people suffer? Where is life’s justice and fairness? How will I go on?
These are not new questions. Tragedy, especially when it hits us personally, has challenged our understanding of the Universe, and whatever God may be in it, for millennia.
This book is a personal response to a personal tragedy. When my twenty-six-year-old daughter was killed in an accident, it shook my life and it shook my faith. I did not know what would become of either one. I only knew that I would go forward with as much strength and courage as I could muster. At the same time this book is rabbinic — unavoidably so. Having served some thirty-five years in the congregational rabbinate, it could hardly be otherwise. I am attempting to speak here as I would to a member of the community who is seeking understanding. I am also speaking to myself.
It has been said that that which is most personal is also most universal. I believe what is written here has meaning for intrepid questioners of every faith, for people with no active faith, and even for those who may doubt faith altogether. It offers a reasoned understanding of God that faithful and skeptic alike may find helpful — and perhaps even acceptable.
Tragedy tests our faith as nothing else does. And it is in the wake of tragedy that we most need it. Sooner or later, we all experience loss. Sooner or later, we, along with our faith and our God, whatever shape or form they may take, will face questions we cannot answer. Sooner or later, we all take the Tragedy Test.
I don’t claim to have aced it. This is a record of how, by my own lights at least, I’ve managed to pass it.
I hope that this account of my journey will be of assistance to you and yours.
A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM EACH SALE OF THE TRAGEDY TEST SUPPORTS THE WORK OF THE TALI FUND.
PUBLISHER: Wipf and Stock
IMPRINT: Resource Publications