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.