Monthly Article Archives: November 2007

A Rabbi and a Football Star: Hope and Commitment in the Face of AdversityRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I was drawn to two articles in the October, 2007 issue of Metrowest Magazine, a publication distributed in the western suburbs of Boston. One focused on Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of the bestselling book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, the other on Doug Flutie, the 1984 winner of the prestigious Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football. Flutie won the award as a quarterback at Boston College and later played in the Canadian and National Football Leagues. He is currently a college football analyst on television. Interestingly, Kushner served as a rabbi at a temple in Natick, Massachusetts, the same town from which Flutie hails. However, the major common thread in their lives is that both were confronted with painful situations related to their only sons. Many of my readers may be familiar with their stories, but others may not. Aaron and Progeria Kushner’s bestselling book was published in 1981. He wrote it not only to honor the memory of his son, Aaron, who died at the age of 14 in 1977, but also to share his understanding of why a benevolent God would allow good people to experience intense anguish and pain. Kushner eloquently describes

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