Sunday, March 16, 2008

Leaving Religion: "What Choice?"

Judge: May I tell you a story?

Matt Damon: Please.

Judge: For generations, men of my family have been rabbis. In Israel, before that in Europe. It was to be my calling. I was quite a prodigy. The pride of my yeshiva. The elders said I had a 40-year-old's understanding of the midrash by the time I was 12. But by the time I was 13, I knew I could never be a rabbi.

Damon: Why not?

Judge: Because for all I understood of the Talmud, I never saw God there.

Damon: You couldn't lie to yourself.

Judge: I tried. Tried like crazy. I mean, people were counting on me.

Damon: But yours is a respectable profession.

Judge: Not to my family. My parents were destroyed, devastated by my decision. My father sent me away to New York to live with distant cousins. Eventually, l... I found my place, my life's work.

Damon: What then?

Judge: I immersed myself fully, I studied the minutiae, I learned everything I could about the law. I mean, I felt deeply inside that it was what I was born to do.

Damon: And did your parents get over it?

Judge: No. I always hoped that I would find some way to change their minds, but... They were inconsolable. My father never spoke to me again.

Damon: If you had to do it all over again, would you make the same choices?

Judge: What choice?

The last thing I took away from the yeshiva is this... We can't run from who we are. Our destiny chooses us. Hey. L'chayim.

From Rounders.

1 comment:

Ezzie said...

Always thought that was a fascinating scene.