"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Thursday, April 15, 2004 I met Hyim (the rabbi from Hillel) for a beer last night at Blueberry Hill. It was good to have a prolonged conversation with someone over the age of five.
Hyim once held the coolest job title I can possibly imagine. His first job out of rabbinical school was being the rabbi for all of India. Now, that's probably a heck of a job, but what a great thing to be able to put on your resume. I mean, some people's first job is with Congregation Beth Shalom. Hyim's first job -- Rabbi for India.
We were talking about the Passion of the Christ movie (Hyim, Gary and John Lottes did a panel on campus about it a few weeks back). Hyim said he walked out of the movie after an hour ... not because of the violence or the anti-Semitism (though he said he really thought there was a lot of subtle anti-Semitism and obviously some not-so-subtle violence) but just because it was a really bad movie.
Anyway, the whole thing led to this great conversation about theologies of atonement and what Christians believe. Hyim is one of the smartest, most learned people I know -- every time I hear him talk, I learn something about my own faith because he knows Judaism so amazingly well -- but he also doesn't know that much about Christianity, doesn't pretend to, and is always excited about learning. He is the absolute best kind of colleague. Not just a good friend, but someone who doesn't posture and pretend to know more than he does or put up a front. He is who he is.
Hyim is leaving Hillel after this semester to take a position as Rabbi of a synagogue he and his family have been attending for the past 7 years. The synagogue is on Delmar just West of the Loop and many of the people in it are Wash. U. people, so he'll still be around campus. I'm glad he's not going far. I would really miss him.
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."