Stephen Brehe: A tribute to Rabbi Harold Kushner

When my father was in his mid-70s, he remarked, “I go to too damn many funerals.”

I am now in my mid-70s and concur.

Of course, going to funerals is part and parcel of ministry, so I have said goodbye to many people over the years.

I knew most people I have said goodbye to — family, friends, and parishioners. But there is another group, too: those people who have shaped, formed and mentored me through their writings, such as Henri Nouwen, William Sloan Coffin, Eugene Peterson, Marcus Borg, Phyllis Trible, and Rabbi Harold Kushner.

They have “gone to glory,” as a dear friend of mine puts it. Kushner died  April 27 at the age of 88.

I will miss my literary mentor, but I have his printed words to continue my journey with him.

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Kushner wrote over a dozen books about faith, personal growth and ethics. His writings have been helpful to millions, including me, for which I am deeply grateful. A couple of years after seminary, I met Kushner in his first book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

His world was turned upside down in 1977 when his son

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