October 28, 2010

When You Speak Before You Think


No more words
photo credit: Katie Tegtmeyer

Not that this has ever happened to you, but maybe you know of someone who has said something only to realize that probably wasn’t a great idea. I’d try to blame it on the proverbial ‘friend’ but I’m all into transparency and blog integrity so I may as well just fess up and say I said something stupid to my Rabbi the other day.

I didn’t confess to being the Unibomber or anything like that. But I definitely opened mouth and inserted foot. And to think, I was having lunch with him. Mmmmm, tasty shoe! And, no they weren’t the Louboutin’s. Haven’t brought myself to buy them yet. But after this, certainly I won’t be getting them any time soon.

In about 6 weeks Rabbi Harold Kushner will be coming to our synagogue to speak. He wrote the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People. It’s a very popular book and Rabbi Kushner has spoken all over the world. My Rabbi, Micah Caplan (hi, Rabbi Caplan!), is good friends with Rabbi Kushner.

I just couldn’t let it go. We were talking about me going to visit my grandma and I mentioned that I would be back in time for services on a particular Friday night. Blah Blah Blah. Until I felt compelled to tell him that I once received a copy of Rabbi Kushner’s book as a gift and I thought it was a bunch of crap so I threw it away. You want to be my BFF now, don’t you? Well, being the nice guy he is, he chuckled. I think he was trying to collect his thoughts or restrain himself from asking me what’s wrong with me.

I went on to explain that I was given the book after a tragedy befell my family and really I wasn’t in the mood to read the book. I thanked the person and as soon as they left I threw the book in the trash. And now I was telling this to not only my Rabbi but my Rabbi who is friends with the author. Quite endearing, I’m sure!

But he caught on that I wasn’t trying to be mean or rude. We both laughed as I said that it’s like Rabbi Kushner is following me. For the past few years, people would try to tell me about the book. And I would ignore summarily ignore them. I was all but plugging my ears and saying “la, la, la, la, la” as if I was a stubborn child. And here I was, once again faced with this book. It’s kind of like the gopher in Caddyshack, which just won’t go away regardless of what’s done.

No matter what I’ve done, this book keeps coming back into my life. Now, though, it’s not just the book but Rabbi Kushner himself. I’m getting the distinct feeling that I should read this book. Which I will, as I just put it on hold at my local library.

Have you read When Bad Things Happen to Good People? What did you think of it? Any hints or insight? Well, other than try not to make a fool of myself if given the opportunity to actually speak with Rabbi Kushner.



Honey October 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I am unusually good at “inserting foot in mouth” unfortunately a career in that wouldn’t pay too well.

I can’t wait to read about the book (in a book review post) when you are finished.


Sara October 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Honey, you’re right, it doesn’t pay all that well. And I might just do a review. Nothing like reviewing a 6 year old book, but it’s all about timing. Right? – Sara

Honey October 29, 2010 at 12:00 am

A 6 year old book would be relevant because the rabbi is coming. No? That makes it relevant again. Okay girl, you’ve got 6 weeks to read the book and write the review. LOL. You know I am kidding, right?


Sara October 29, 2010 at 12:10 am

Honey, I actually have about 3 weeks to read the book if I want to participate in the Rabbi’s lunch & learn session about the book. It should be an easy read. And, hey, better 6 years than never!


Jenn October 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Yup, so done that. Not with a Rabbi mind you but way more often then I’d like to admit truth be told.
And I’ve also had a book, or some such object/person come into my path time and time again until I finally decide I should read it/talk to them, etc. Sometimes I end up having a profound moment and other times, meh. But I’m always glad that I finally quit ignoring it 🙂

Sara October 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Hi Jenn and thank you for stopping by and commiserating with me. I’ve felt like telling people, “I get it, I’m supposed to read this book. Now leave me alone.” We’ll see how this book goes. At least if I have questions I can go to the source. And I’ll make sure not to tell him that I thought his book was crap and I threw the first one away. Probably not the best way to endear myself to him.


V Demetros October 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Sounds like he had a sense of humor and didn’t take it that way. We all do that, that’s what makes us human. Can’t wait to hear about the book, I’ve read about it before.
Sounds like you’re meant to read and learn from this book, and the man…have fun.

Sara October 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Hi Valerie,

Yes, he took it all in stride. It didn’t even cross my mind until after it came out of my mouth. I felt like a dork. I think I’m at a place where I can read it and see it for what was intended. Thanks, Sara

shifra October 29, 2010 at 5:09 am

I like the title…

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