Aug. 31, 2020

Dr. Mort Fridman on Micah 6:8 – “Micah: Justice, Mercy and Humility” - S1E40


Dr. Mort Fridman, Past President of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), joins Mark on the podcast today. Mort has been a doctor and psychoanalyst for several decades so he brings a unique perspective to the passage he has chosen to discuss with Mark which is Micah 6:8.

Mort begins by summarizing the passage, its meaning for him, and by sharing a quick summary of Jewish history in order to put the passage into its historical context. He and Mark then discuss the true role of a prophet, Micah’s message in this passage, and the concepts of acting justly and loving kindness and mercy which it espouses. Mort also offers his perspective on one of the most significant parts of Micah’s message, explores with Mark just what it really means to be good and to ‘walk humbly with God’, and reviews the notion of the 70 faces to the Torah. As with all of Mark’s guests, Mort finishes up with the lessons about mankind that he has learned, an exercise which leads him back to the nature of narcissism and its prevalence in today’s society. Today’s conversation is a prime example of the Torah’s value as a guide to modern life, as these two scholars tease out the ‘the kind of life we’re supposed to be living’ from this timelessly instructive passage.

Episode Highlights:

  • Mort’s summary of the passage, and its meaning for him
  • Mort’s 30 second summary of Jewish history
  • The role of a prophet
  • Micah’s message in this passage
  • Acting justly and loving kindness
  • One of the most significant parts of Micah’s message
  • Walking humbly with our God
  • What does it really mean to be good?
  • The 70 faces to the Torah
  • The lessons about mankind which Mort has learned
  • Narcissism

Quotes:

“For me, I would say, it’s aspirational.”

“The Hebrew of this passage is so nuanced…each word just contains a whole world of psychological information.”

“Much like the Middle East of today, chaos, war, refugees, so you know this passage is going to speak to us.”

“The Jews were given the land of Israel to be a light unto the nations which means moral behavior.”

“What does God seek from us?”

“You have to know God every way you are capable of knowing him. You have to be in touch with yourself.”

“If you do justice over and over and over again, you will end up loving mercy.”

“Being a Jew means being involved with the world.”

“People are very, very much stuck on themselves.”

“If you’re going to be all about you, you’re not going to have a very happy life.”

“Torah means teaching.”

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good, And what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice And to love goodness, And to walk modestly with your God; https://www.sefaria.org/Micah.6.8?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Links:

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

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

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