How I Came to My Table

I was seated at one of those grand, heavy, deep brown mahogany tables in a beautiful room with two walls of windows. To my left, sat my mother, visiting for a few days from Los Angeles. Then to my right, and all the way around the table sat 10 classmates and my professor. We were talking about my favorite topic: How do you do good?

This table is one that I worked to come to. It is a table in a classroom at Harvard Divinity School, and I was seated next to my immigrant mother, the daughter of holocaust survivors, as my classmates and I debated the life of a famous Catholic. Around this table sat Christians, Buddhists, Catholics, Unitarian Universalists and me. I was in my version of heaven on earth. We were having a rigorous debate about a life well lived.

But even in my moment of bliss I was wondering: What sort of world do we live in? One in which my grandfather saw his father lay tefillin everyday, then saw Auschwitz and now sees his granddaughter partnered with an agnostic Christian and attending not Yeshiva, but Divinity School? How is it possible to see so much change in one life?


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