I caught up with S. this week, meetings I always love. Although he has never been formally involved with Jewish projects on campus, our conversations always go to great places that keep me thinking after we leave each other.
This week, we played lots of catch-up and seemingly, the conversation was finished. But then S. decided he wanted my opinion on something. Doing a friend a requested favor, S. had decided to ride his friend’s bike from a far away location back home. A seemingly simple task got complicated with road construction, a 4am departure time, and a bit of alcohol – and the bike, with S. on it, crashed. The bike was in the shop and S. wanted my opinion – should he have to pay the cost? Or should the friend have to pay, as S. had been doing him a favor?
“You know Adena, the Talmudic understanding of this issue would dictate that because I was doing someone a favor…” – S.
S. had sent my heart a flutter.
There could have been many layers and questions connected to our conversation, tied to choices and favors and responsibility. But above all, I walked away impressed by S. and asking myself what makes a GW student – one who on the surface, may appear a tad bit disconnected from his Jewish identity – cite a Jewish text (and have a sense of a world beyond his immediate own) when grappling with a drunken bike ride, gone wrong.
Where can you make connections between your day-to-day GW life and the rich gift of Jewish texts? What values play a role in shaping your daily choices?