Temple Jeremiah


Jeremiah Gems- Stephen Miller

When new assistant Rabbi Heaps asked me to write a Jeremiah Gem reflecting on where I came from and how it informed my spiritual life (I think that was her drift), I thought of something my Dad did for me in high school that taught me how to look at life as if walking in another man’s shoes, which ultimately helped define me. What did he do? One summer he got me a job through a friend in the auto industry—and stuck me on an assembly line, making Mercury Monarchs (a long—long—time ago 😊). It was hard work. Very hard.

But doing that job, and working alongside people with an entirely different set of skills, values and priorities, taught me empathy for hard working people, folks who didn’t always have the options available to me, and whose main goal was to just stay ahead of their bills and provide for their families– something I clearly took for granted. I learned to talk to “regular people,” a skill I ultimately made into a career as a civil jury trial attorney. I love talking to juries with auto workers, and postmen, and working folks of all kinds. It’s my comfort zone, and I am quite sure my life journey turned in a direction that would have been impossible but for Dad’s decision to throw me on the assembly line. Today I can appreciate, and relate to, people of all social and economic backgrounds. I am comfortable with, and respectful, of all people, regardless of their size, shape or color. To me, all lives matter, and everyone deserves respect and dignity, regardless of their station. I learned that firsthand. Thank you, Dad.

About Dina Bauwens

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