The old man sat in the terminal alone, busily reading and muttering prayers in anticipation of the long flight. The young man wandered restlessly around the airport gate and made every effort not to be seen near the old Jew.
The two men boarded the plane. To the young man’s dismay, he found himself seated next to the old man. A few minutes into the flight, the young man apprehensively looked around to make certain nobody was looking his way. He turned towards the old man. ‘I have a secret,’ the young man whispered, ‘but you must promise not to tell anyone. I’m a Jew.’
‘I also have a secret,’ replied the old man. He gently smiled and said, ‘I’m a hunchback.’
As a husband in a mixed marraige and a father who purposefully hid from his Jewish heritage throughout most of my adult life, I had little interest in Judaism for myself and my family.
But my entire perspective changed when I discovered an organization known as Big Tent Judaism and the teachings of Dr. Daniel Matt, author of The Essential Kabbalah. In Twists, Turns, and Yellow Brick Roads, I wrote a deeply personal tale titled Sublime and Precious Secrets for Jews like me – people who hid from our roots only to rediscover the wisdom and equanimity of a weary old traveler.