When I travel, I often ask myself the same question: is it worth it? Is it worth it as I slug my way through yet another airport, and sleep in yet another hotel? Sometimes a single event makes the answer strikingly clear. I will share two recent examples, both of which followed a speaking engagement in two very different communities (and I share them publicly because they were shared with me rather publicly as people were clamoring for my attention after two recent presentations, to two rather different audiences and locales; otherwise, I would abide by the wisdom of my own teachers and never share what was said to me).
One woman came forward after a recent presentation and said, “I have been married to a wonderful Catholic man for 25 years. And for 25 years I have carried a burden of guilt with me whenever I go. This is the first time in 25 years, after hearing what you had to say, that I feel relieved of my burden.”
In another presentation, a woman came forward and said, “My daughter is soon to be engaged to a man who isn’t Jewish. I didn’t know what to do so I came to hear what you had to say. Before you spoke, I was planning on going home to try to break up their relationship, to dissuade my daughter from marrying that man. Now, after hearing what you had to say, I am going to go home and embrace them both with as much love as I can muster. I will welcome them into my home and into my heart.”
What more could we ask for in the evolving Torah of the Jewish people? As I think the medieval Jewish poet Ibn Pakuda once said, “Our lives are scrolls. We write on them with our hearts.” So, is my travel worth it? You bet it is.
No comments yet.