Love the outsider…

According to Don Brown, in his ground breaking book from back in the day titled Human Universals, humans are universally wired for fear – mostly to ensure our survival. I’m naturally afraid of snakes and spiders for good reason – they once maimed/killed our ancestors with regularity. So we inherited a healthy fear. Makes sense, doesn’t it. We also inherited fear of the outsider for the very same reason. And here begins our long list of gratitude for the Jewish people. You see, the Jewish people were the original movers and shakers. According to Thomas Cahill in his 1999 book titled The Gift of the Jews, we were not moving much before the Jews taught us how to roll up our tent and shake it up a bit. The Jews also taught us to think about community as a collection of unique individuals, how to think about time differently, and how to understand our individual and collective destinies. The Jewish people are a gift from God, you could say. I, in fact, believe that’s exactly what they are…

So, last night, I was invited into their world for one beautiful evening. I was an outsider in their celebration of marriage and life. Brooklyn was no longer a NYC borough, it was a gift of Jewish community and they invited me in. They made me feel like I belonged, freakin’ magic in the making. Last night was all about seven circles, seven blessings, and all that is right in this world of seven continents. Last night one of my dear friends and clients, Durps, got married in a traditional Jewish ceremony. It was all done in Hebrew and my friend, Brett, wasn’t much of a translator. It didn’t much matter. You see, friend, love and joy are human universals too. The room swept me up as if I was one of theirs. In fact, a Rabbi from Cleveland saw me standing outside their circle (literally during one of their crazy dances) and grabbed me by the shoulder and hand thrusting me into the circle whether I wanted to move or not. I moved. Another Black hatter smiled, grabbed my other hand, and away we went. A few minutes later, the same Rabbi pulled me out of the circle and shoved me straight way to the center where Durp had been dancing with his brothers. I hugged Durps and told him “I didn’t know what I was doing, but I loved it.” He replied that he didn’t either. We laughed, shared a little jig, mostly hugged and shared some love. It was wonderful. I felt like I belonged. These people were not afraid of the outsider.

You see, friend, the Jewish people are beacons of community, they’ve had to be to survive throughout their history. The world has not been kind to them. Last night, the Jewish community loved each other, loved Durp and Shaindy, and even loved me. God bless them. Actually, God, thanks for blessing all of humanity through them. God, help us learn there really is no us and them. God, help us love those outside our immediate circle. God help us follow your design and act like we’re all one. God help us all. Amen (another gift of the Jews). Amen.

Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…

1 thought on “Love the outsider…

  1. Thank You Chet! I learned through your writing what we know but have a hard time practicing, simply be OPEN TO OTHERS! Learn, understand and embrace other cultures that offer so many traditions we can learn from! Soo happy for Durp, committed and a Strong Core Centered man!

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