Marianne talks to Rabbi Harold Kushner about the disappointments that are an inevitable part of life, and the spiritual growth needed to overcome them. Best known as the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts. His latest work, Overcoming Life's Disappointments, is about how we can draw inspiration from the story of Moses, a hero to the Jewish people and one of the greatest figures in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Rabbi Kushner says that because of his close relationship with God, Moses was able to endure challenges in life that he wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. In the biblical book of Exodus, Moses leads the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and with the help of God, parts the waters of the Red Sea to give them safe passage from their enemies.
Rabbi Kushner says the most incredible feat Moses performed was not splitting the Red Sea, rather, it was the way Moses endured failure. According to Rabbi Kushner, having led the Jews out of captivity and through the desert for 40 years to receive the Torah, Moses persevered despite the complaints and ingratitude of his people. When life does not unfold as planned, Rabbi Kushner says that, like Moses, you can learn from your difficult experiences and move forward with an open heart.
Marianne says she is also deeply inspired by the story of Moses. "Our closeness to God—through meditation, and through prayer, and through trying to live the life that God would have us live—this gives us the power to rise above physical limitations that would normally hold us back," she says, "so that in each of our lives there is an example of where we part the Red Sea."