Jewish Journal

Message Received

by Beit T'shuvah

October 26, 2012 | 3:21 pm

Rabbi Mark is my messenger, and I hold him responsible. Responsible for the tremendous significance of his messages, and responsible for integrating the stories that contains hidden messages into my daily life.

A messenger who cannot do as much may be unfit; a messenger must call upon a message with an obligatory duty--in the case of Rabbi Mark, the preponderance of his message embodies aspects of Judaism, Torah, mentorship, and living well. The familiar messages of Rabbi Mark stood still against myself--an Irish Catholic with a rampant and insubordinate life. Despite the religious differences, Rabbi Mark’s message clasped against my skewed perception, enabling me to see the Whole message--sans messenger.

I must ask myself whether Michael has taken society’s stereotypes a bit too far.   As they say, if you focus on the differences amongst human beings… you will find them.  There should not be an analysis of the reasoning behind one man’s ability to hear another; there is no benefit to a rigid and uniformed means of communication. I am not here only to speak to Jews.  I am not here only to speak to ex-cons and addicts.  I am here to speak with and to anyone who would like to engage in a dialogue

I too am learning, a student of life.  Heschel, Obama, Rossetto, Welch… they are all my teachers.  We are not the same race, creed, age - we don’t dress the same and we certainly don’t have the same lifestyles; our places in society range from treatment resident to White House President.  However, I engage as do they and we are all messengers... that, if listened to closely, makes us recipients as well.

So I say to Michael, while I am humbled by the emphasis you have placed upon my teachings, your willingness to hear the message is your doing, your accomplishment.  Being addicted to redemption, my focus lies on my mission to help others do the same.

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