This religious work by the author of the bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People examines the human need for meaning in life. Harold Kushner uses Ecclesiastes — which he calls "the most dangerous book in the Bible" — as the touchstone for everyone's search for the good life. The writer of Ecclesiastes finds wealth, success, power, and prestige all to be devoid of meaning. Kushner interprets the book as offering three keys to a worthwhile sojourn on earth: "Belong to people, accept pain as part of your life, know that you have made a difference."

When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough is a treasure-trove of thought-provoking vignettes and quotes on self-sacrifice, reaching out to others in love, accepting the injustices of everyday existence, and finding pleasure in the moment. Here is an example:

"An American tourist found himself in India on the day of the pilgrimage to the top of a sacred mountain. Thousands of people would climb the steep path to the mountaintop. The tourist, who had been jogging and doing vigorous exercise and thought he was in good shape, decided to join in and share the experience. After twenty minutes, he was out of breath and could hardly climb another step, while women carrying babies, and frail old men with canes, moved easily past him. 'I don't understand it,' he said to an Indian companion. 'How can these people do it when I can't?' His friend answered, 'It is because you have the typical American habit of seeing everything as a test. You see the mountain as your enemy and you set out to defeat it. So, naturally, the mountain fights back and it is stronger than you are. We do not see the mountain as an enemy to be conquered. The purpose of our climb is to become one with the mountain and so it lifts us up and carries us along.' "

Kushner's advice, coming from years of service as a rabbi and counselor, is sagacious.