By Rabbi Mark Borovitz
This past week I watched an interview with Dr./Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel recorded in 1972 with Carl Stern. Before I get into the content, I want to talk about the interview itself. Carl Stern was prepared and present. It was an interview that asked difficult questions, and the follow-up questions on answers given were respectful, truthful and transparent. I know that it was 42 years ago. I realize that it was an interview about ideas and actions; I understand that life was so much "simpler" then, yet, what has happened to journalism in the media? I don't find people interviewing for Truth today, only for a point of view. I don't find our "media news stars" getting the whole story, rather, anyone who they disagree with they just want to "get!" How can one person, side, story be so right that there is no room for doubt, questions and broader/wider vision? "Don't confuse me with facts" seems to be the order of the day. It saddens me greatly.
I love a good argument! I debate fiercely and passionately, yet I do all of this to learn, not to be right! Carl Stern only wanted to learn from and with Rabbi Heschel. He only wanted his audience to learn, think and ask questions of themselves regarding Dr. Heschel's words and thoughts. What is our problem today that we settle for rhetoric, pap and sound bites? What is the reason we have given up depth, wisdom, information to make informed decisions about life's challenges? In some ways, we have given up some of the essential ways that we BE Human! Yet, very few are "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!!" I don't understand the reason behind our passivity and our acceptance of the status quo.
In the beginning of the interview, Rabbi Heschel speaks about reverence. I saw that reverence in action between Carl Stern and Rabbi Heschel. I don't see it so much between newscasters and their interview subjects. I don't see it so much between parents and children, employers and employees, etc.
I saw it last weekend in Pastor Mark Whitlock of COR Church in Irvine. I see it in Rabbi Harold Shulweis. I see it in Dr. Garrett O'Connor. I see it in Harriet Rossetto. I see it in Janis Spire. I see it in some teachers, Clergy, etc.
I am asking you to join me and many others in being Addicted to Redeeming our Humanness. Addicted to redeeming our reverence. Addicted to redeeming truth/whole story. Addicted to redeeming passion and purpose. We need you to help us reach the "tipping point" of returning to living on God's Side and revering animal, plant and human life!