Friday, December 13, 2013

David Hartman z"l

The Reform movement honored my teacher, Rabbi David Hartman, at its biennial.  Here is its beautiful tribute video.  It was a wonder and privilege to be in his presence for such moments.



I miss him.  He was the rare combination of courage and love.  He was never afraid of questions.  He was tireless in asking even the most difficult questions of his Judaism.  He also never stopped loving Jews, even those who made him angry, and rabbis, who he felt were always deserving of his support as well as prodding.  I hope to model what I learned from him.  David loved the questioner even more than the believer.  Question and critique strengthens faith.  It never weakens it.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs honored David and his teaching by presenting the Schindler Award to David's son, Rabbi Donniel Hartman.  Both spoke beautifully of David's contributions and teachings and of a Judaism that is unafraid of debate and welcomes a multiplicity of answers.  Such is a faith that our times especially require.



I must close with Moses Maimonides, with whom Hartman had a life-long discussion and debate: "Just as a person is commanded to honor and revere his father, so is he obligated to honor and revere his teacher... "

Each and every day.

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