Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

“A brother is a friend God gave you; a friend is a brother your heart chose.” – Proverbs

These are sometimes synonymous and sometimes not. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with a long time friend and heard the most wonderful story that so amplifies the wisdom from Proverbs.

As a Rabbi in South Florida, my work as a Spiritual Counselor and Addiction Professional provides me with countless blessings to meet people and learn why God has put them in my path. Debbie is such a person and has grown to be a dear friend.

Debbie and I were having lunch after a long time of not having seen each other. We had so much to tell and so little time in which to do so. Consequently, God decided what the important “stuff” would be. Debbie is married to a wonderful man who had three sons from a prior marriage. Together, they have been blessed with Benjie, a warm and happy boy. They are a loving, happy family that truly has their priorities in order and appreciates all they have spiritually and emotionally.

Two of her step sons are twins and the following story is what “brothers” are meant to be. For the purpose of this story, I will use Steve and Dave as their names. We all know the cost of supporting children is challenging for most. Having four children can surpass a challenge and require that children help themselves. So was the case for Steve and Dave. I asked Debbie how they were and she shared with me that Steve was about to graduate as an EMT and had a career path that he felt passionate about. I asked about Dave and she said that he was going back to school because he had dropped out of school to work so he could give support to Steve to become an EMT. Now that Steve had accomplished his goal, he was going to give Dave the support to go back to school so he could achieve his goals. How powerful!

Proverbs tells us that God gives us a brother as he gave Dave and Steve, but Dave and Steve chose to give to each other what God could not; their unconditional love and support to put each other ahead of themselves, knowing that their hearts were filled with love and joy at being able to help the other fulfill their dreams. I cried inside when Debbie told me this stirring tale. How many times are we faced the opportunity to place others before us and we don’t?

I pray that each of us will hear the call the next time the opportunity arises and soar above our own needs to provide for another before providing for ourselves.

I am a modern and independent Rabbi with an MSW Degree and 24+ years of sobriety providing addiction counseling focusing on healing, spiritual guidance and personalized life cycle events. If you, a family member or friend are in need of my services, please contact me at 954-755-3764 to get the help you deserve.

Hugs and Blessings,

Rabbi Mitch

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