Books by Lawrence Kushner

Lawrence Kushner is the Emanu-El Scholar, in-residence at the Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, where he devotes his full energies to teaching and writing. He also serves as Visiting Professor of Jewish Spirituality at the Graduate Theological Unive


KABBALAH by Lawrence Kushner
Released: Oct. 10, 2006

"A mysterious medieval epistle, bumbling romantic efforts and plenty of feel-good spirituality combine to offer good prospects for decent commercial, if not literary, success."
Rabbi Kushner's first novel for adults echoes The Gift of Asher Lev and The Da Vinci Code, but offers neither the former's gravitas nor the latter's intrigue. Read full book review >
IN GOD’S HANDS by Lawrence Kushner
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

Wealthy Jacob is concerned with ways to make more money but routinely falls asleep during the Rabbi's weekly Sabbath service. Less fortunate David, the caretaker of the synagogue, worries each week about his empty cupboards and hungry children. During one service, Jacob awakens long enough to hear the Torah portion from the Book of Leviticus where God instructs Moses to bake 12 loaves and set them before him in equal rows of six, each Sabbath day. Thinking God has spoken to him alone, Jacob goes home, bakes 12 loaves of challah and returns to the synagogue placing the loaves within the holy ark. Later, as David cleans up, he prays before the ark for his starving family. Opening it, he finds the challahs and rejoices for his answered prayers. The routine continues for several years until the wise Rabbi catches both men in their respective rituals and explains their lives are connected by their actions, not by God's direction: "your hands are God's hands." As in the child-oriented Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis (2003), discussable themes of goodwill and kindness resonate throughout. The nearly full-page, folk-style, expressive paintings, compliment the sensitively told story. A worthy choice for all collections. (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
BECAUSE NOTHING LOOKS LIKE GOD by Lawrence Kushner
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

According to the authors' note to parents and teachers, the Kushners address the often unspoken questions of young children who hear about God in church. This multicultural, nondenominational, and non-sectarian attempt poses three questions: "Where is God?," "What does God look like?," and "How does God make things happen?" There are various answers to these questions, ranging from images such as God "is in the first ripening tomato, and in cookies just fresh from the oven," to the ideas that God is "wherever we let God in." In answer to what God looks like, the authors write, "God looks like nothing," but there are many things people cannot see and yet they know they are there. The premise being that God is in every aspect of life and that God makes things happen through people's acts of caring about each other and their community. There is no mention of prayer, houses of worship, or any of the traditional forms of religious life. Majewski's illustrations are bright and sunny, depicting families of color, the young, the old, in the US, and in a few world communities. The picture-book format is appropriate to the very young child, but the text, although simple, may have concepts more easily understood by older children. Parents who believe that God is within all aspects of the spiritual and temporal world may find this book helpful as a discussion starter, but it's not much more than that. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >