Aug. 13, 2020

Representative Mike Gallagher on Judges 6:15 – The Call of God, the Answer of Gideon, the Lessons for All of Us - S1E26


Mark is so delighted to welcome his friend, Representative Mike Gallagher, to the podcast today. Born and raised in Green Bay, Mike is a Princeton graduate who joined the United States Marine Corps the day he graduated. Among his many achievements in this career, he has deployed twice to Iraq as a commander of intelligence teams, served on General Petraeus’ Central Command Assessment Team in the Middle East, and worked for three years in the intelligence community, including tours at the National Counterterrorism Center and the Drug Enforcement Agency. In addition to his degree from Princeton, Mike has earned a master’s degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University, a second in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University, and his PhD in International Relations from Georgetown. The passage he has chosen to discuss is Judges 6:15.

Mike begins the discussion by providing the context of the passage, its meaning for him, and how it relates to his experiences in Iraq. He and Mark also draw parallels between Gideon’s and Moses’ stories, God’s conception of faith for us, and the treatment of primogeniture and idolatry throughout the Torah. Mike also shares the role that fear played in his military career, and the concept of the ‘main effort’ which he continues to employ today. To conclude, Mike reveals the lessons that he has learned about mankind, and offers a glimpse into the weekly discussions in which he and other politicians participate, and how they have greatly increased his respect for even those who hold vastly different political views from him. Today’s passage does indeed contain life lessons for all of us today, as Mark states, and these two very good friends uncover them in this dynamic and informative conversation.

Episode Highlights:

  • The context of today’s passage and its meaning for Mike
  • Mike’s experiences in Iraq
  • How Gideon’s story resonates with Moses’ story
  • God’s conception of faith for us
  • Primogeniture and idolatry
  • The role of fear in Mike’s military career
  • The ‘main effort’
  • The lessons that Mike has learned about mankind
  • Mike’s weekly meetings with other politicians to discuss faith and family

Quotes:

“Gideon uses intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, psychological warfare, and guile to defeat his enemy on the field of battle.”

“This story which started out as this sort of cool, military story about victory in the face of fear, using guile and deception, became a more complex lesson about self-doubt and sin, and this sort of cycle of failure and redemption that I think pervades both the Old and the New Testament.”

“Maybe that’s the story of the Israelites, right? You know this constant cycle of screwing up and getting back on the horse.”

“I was always very afraid that I wouldn’t measure up.”

“The strength of the wolf is in the pack.”

“I feel people get corrupted through a slow slide of compromises.”

“Some of the most successful people out there are also some of the most miserable.”

Judges 6:15 He said to Him, “Please, my lord, how can I deliver Israel? Why, my clan is the humblest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s household.” https://www.sefaria.org/Judges.6.15?lang=bi

Links:

The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/

Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en

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