Covid-19 has taken away from us a well-respected man who was one of the more respected authors to wield Peanuts in a significant way. Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski died today in Israel, Twerski, the son of a line of respected rabbinical schoolars who became a psychiatrist specializing in substance abuse, wrote four books using Peanuts examples to discuss psychological issues, making the texts very approachable:
- When Do The Good Things Start? (1988) looks at life’s ups and downs
- Waking Up Just In Time (1990) is a guide to twelve-step recovery
- I Didn’t Ask to Be In This Family (1992) looked at sibling relationships and how they shape adult behavior and relationships
- “That’s Not a Fault… It’s a Character Trait” (1999) teaches us to face our weaknesses
These books use Peanuts well and not frivolously. Twerski, who was a real fan of the strip, recognized the insight it so frequently gave. He and Schulz became friends, and Twerski visited Schulz just days before Sparky’s own death. The people I know who met him found him fascinating. I always hoped that I’d get to meet him at some point, and I’m glad he was around. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.