Purim Reflections

Dear Sally (Stich) and Sally (Kurtzman):

I wanted to thank you both for conceiving, nurturing, delivering and parenting our Kabbalah Live! speaker series.  Last Thursday we were inspired by the 15th speaker you arranged (yes, we are three years old), the Adventure Rabbi, Jamie Korngold.

In my study I have a shelf that is now dedicated to books I have purchased from our Kabbalah Live series, with titles such as The God Upgrade, A Mighty Long Way, Boxing for Cuba and Spirited.

I wanted to share a reflection on a powerful experience I had being in the audience. One of our first speakers was Frank Shorter, the Olympic marathon runner and a hero of mine.  I have a photo (somewhere) I took of Frank running in the New York City marathon in the early eighties. Our topic that year was looking at metaphors and I wanted to ask him, “What makes Frank run?” How was (is) running a metaphor of his life? Frank took the question on with incredible forthrightness and revealed that he was running away from an abusive father.  For me, this set the tone for how intimate and courageous our speakers would be, whatever the theme we asked them to address.

We have been fortunate to be in the presence of so many people, whom no matter what their “positions” were willing to talk from their hearts.

As today is Purim I want to applaud all the speakers you found for their willingness to take off masks in sharing their pains and joys, embarrassments and moments of pride with us.

I still smile every time I recall Karen Karsh’s answer to the question: What was the hardest part of caring for your infant son?  Karen, who was born blind, replied, “the sleep deprivation.”  What a mask she removed for all of us—our suppositions about the masks that a blind person wears.

Thank you again for connecting us with all these wonderful people.


David Sanders


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