Rabbi’s new book emphasizes importance of relationships

By Ann Robbins-Udel….

Rabbi Hershel Becker is pictured in his study with his new book, Love Peace: Blueprints For Lasting Relationships.

Moments before planes came crashing into buildings and nosediving into a field in Shanksville, PA, airwaves and cell towers were atwitter with last words and messages of love and goodbye from husbands to wives, sons and daughters to parents, engaged couples destined to never have the opportunity to marry.

The reverberation of the enormity of the Sept. 11 tragedy a decade ago, the nearly constant images and sound bites in the days and weeks following the attacks, resonated with Rabbi Hershel Becker, of Young Israel of Kendall. They inspired him to look more closely than ever at the constructs involved in the architecture of the interpersonal relationships in his own life, the lives of those around him, and in the lives and social fabric of all of us.

In his book the rabbi says that just as secure, strong, sturdy, substantial architectural structures require planning, blueprints and quality building materials, so do interpersonal relationships. The cement that creates substantial bonds that unites us within relationships is communication, mutual respect, and genuine caring for and about each other. For couples and families, friends and business associates, that often means being able to have meaningful conversations about differences, points of contention and frustration levels.

Love Peace: Blueprints For Lasting Relationships cites examples of relationship issues in the Torah and provides commentaries that are ready-made catalysts for sensitive, responsive interactions that can enhance, promote, and clarify 21st Century relationships.

The book is a culmination, of not only thoughts and lessons, generated over the 10 years since our tragic national loss on Sept. 11, 2001, but is inclusive of the influence of Rabbi Becker’s late teacher and mentor, Harav Alter Chanoch Henoch Leibowitz. “He advised his students and protégées, ‘You have knowledge; share it. It is not about you. It’s not about your own accomplishments. It’s about community. It’s about caring for others.’ The reason I am living in this community is to share knowledge and caring,” Rabbi Becker said.

A phone call “briefly” interrupted the interview. His third son, the fifth child of eight in the family, called from Israel where he is studying to ask his dad’s advice, share with him what he was learning, and wish him a Good Shabbos. It was an example of the fact that caring relationships begin with the family.

For more information call 786-525-6222 or go online to <www.jewishblueprints.org>.

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