The Man with an Everlasting Name

Imagine the body confounding the language of life, while the mind continues to consecrate the Word of God.

Imagine the body conflating the words of the Bible, reducing the Five Books of Moses into biological babel. Imagine the body biting itself like a serpent and stinging itself like a viper.

Imagine the body as an erroneous scribe whose addition or deletion of a single letter renders unto a man a plague of earthly paralysis. Imagine the beauty of the spirit, in spite of the betrayal of the body: of a body in the desert, in a land of drought and darkness, where nothing flows from the splitting of rocks, where possession of the land is a matter of repossession of the homes of the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, where a man of the house of the Lord teaches within a hospital for the criminally insane.

Imagine no more, because that man is real.

His name is Rabbi Isaac Hurwitz. 

The world will long remember his name, thanks to Allan Ripp’s column in The Wall Street Journal.

Ripp shows us a man of righteousness, who also happens to be the freest inmate in the tightest prison. 

That prison is amy­otrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease that felled Number 4, that forced him to retire from baseball at 36, that now forces Rabbi Hurwitz to lie almost totally motionless at 47.

But for the movement of his eye, which a laser tracks and converts into type, we would not see what Rabbi Hurwitz knows: that his intellect is intact, that the light that travels from his soul to the cursor on his screen, that the light that flickers before him is aglow within him, that the light that allows him to write love letters to his wife is the strongest proof that he may be among the brightest lights in the life of the world.

What Rabbi Hurwitz’s body conceals, his mind reveals.

Regardless of what he believes, we have every right to count Rabbi Hurwitz among the 36 saints whose righteousness is God’s guarantee that our generation shall have an everlasting name

About Bill Asher

Bill Asher is a writer and retired executive. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

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