Thursday, September 07, 2006

Conversation #3: The face in the mirror



Yochanan is a man who takes a rolley suitcase of books to learn from everywhere he travels.

After the class tonight, we both find ourselves in conversation by the refreshments table.

He overheard me mentioning to someone else something about learning in a non-Chabad school.

Turns out, he has a story that makes him intrigued in my experience.

So, after he asks, I share it with him.

And he shares his story with mine - a story filled with Boropark, witchcraft, and ultimately the growing of a beard.

He's been through a lot of searching.

I ask: So, after all that, how would you define yourself today?

He lets out a soft sigh and gives a strong stare at the ground.

He says: You know, when I look at myself in the mirror, I don't know who is looking back, how he defines himself. But, I do know what it means to do good things, so I try to do them, and, uh...that's where I am."

His answer was so simple and so real.

Where he is...

...maybe it's where we all should be.

I immediately felt like my question about definition was ugly at the core.

For one buzzing young girl, looking in the mirror will be different tomorrow.

12 comments:

Shloimy said...

Great post! Perhaps Yochanan's words should make us all "reflect", and have a clearer definition of the person that stares back at us in the mirror. Truly a great post; got me thinking.

Anonymous said...

wow, great post!

FrumGirl said...

Oh my gosh he just defined exactly how I feel about myself.

Dovid said...

Why don't you update?

Pimplesoflife said...

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Pimplesoflife said...

great post be in touch!
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Pimplesoflife said...

great post be in touch!
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Hadassah said...

hi my darling... love this post.

Soetimes less is more; simplicity is more expressive than the most eloquent speech.
Keep it up.
I miss you.
COme back to CH soon!!!

mwah~ Dassa

Hadassah said...

hi my darling... love this post.

Soetimes less is more; simplicity is more expressive than the most eloquent speech.
Keep it up.
I miss you.
COme back to CH soon!!!

mwah~ Dassa

Hadassah said...

hi my darling... love this post.

Soetimes less is more; simplicity is more expressive than the most eloquent speech.
Keep it up.
I miss you.
COme back to CH soon!!!

mwah~ Dassa

the sabra said...

almost as much as your writing, i really appreciate/admire how you take these 'little' things to heart. yknow some people get inspired from world renown lecturers and fancy shmancy sayings and books, ani yodaat, but its the little things like this that shake me up. that wake me up.

(okkkay sabra now would be an excellent time to shutup)

Anonymous said...

please post a new post!! I love this blog!