Sept. 10, 2020

Representative Josh Gottheimer on Proverbs 29:18 and Isaiah 40:31 – “Vision and Strength” - S1E47


Mark’s friend, Representative Josh Gottheimer, joins him on the podcast today. Josh represents New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District, making him the first Democrat to represent that district since 1933, and he has been cited as one of the most centrist members of Congress, and also the most bipartisan House freshman. He is the Co-Founder and C0-Chair of the bipartisan ‘Problem Solvers Caucus’, where he works to bring a group of Democrats and Republicans together across party lines to find areas of agreement on key issues to help the American people. He has narrowed down his choices for his favorite passages to discuss today to Proverbs 29:18 and Isaiah 40:31.

Josh begins by sharing his summary of the Proverbs passage, his reason for selecting it, and the importance for politicians to have and share their vision. He also details the vision that Judaism provides for his life, explores the dangers of a lack of common vision among citizens, and details the work that the Problem Solvers Caucus does. He contrasts the notions of putting one’s political party first instead of one’s country, and reflects upon the current division throughout the United States regarding COVID-19 as well as the ways in which adherence to this passage would guide a leader to respond to it. Looking at the passage from Isaiah, Josh recounts how it helped him when his mother died, and he concludes the episode by sharing the lessons he has learned about mankind which include a description of his ‘Hometown Heroes’ initiative. As you listen today, you will most assuredly come to agree with Mark that Josh Gottheimer truly is ‘a model of what it means to be a great public servant’ as he implements biblical lessons genuinely in his life and his work for our greater good.

Episode Highlights:

  • Josh’s summary of the Proverbs passage and the reasons he chose it
  • The importance of those in politics having and sharing their vision for the country
  • The vision that Judaism gives to Josh
  • The danger of a lack of common vision among the citizens of a country
  • The Problem Solvers Caucus
  • Party first vs. country first
  • The current division about COVID-19 and how today’s passage would guide a leader to respond
  • How the Isaiah passage helped him after his mother died
  • The lessons Josh has learned about mankind
  • Josh’s ‘Hometown Heroes’ initiative

Quotes:

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

“Any good elected official or somebody running should always present where they hope to bring the country, and that’s why I think it’s so powerful.”

“We end up fighting about every little thing because we’re not really sure in what direction we’re going.”

“I think there’s far too much of this general attitude that party comes before country.”

“Right now our leaders are not even sitting at the table anymore…to me, that’s wholly irresponsible of all our leadership.”

“We must come together or we’ll never beat this thing.”

“Show people where we’re going to get to if you make the sacrifice that we must make.”

“Many of our leaders, in my opinion, should be ashamed of the bickering, what we’re actually fighting about.”

“If you believe in some sort of higher being like I do…you know…you will always have the strength to move forward even in very tough times.”

“I’ve learned…how good people can be and how much kindness goes on every single day that people aren’t aware of.”

“If we actually want back to rewarding people for working together, we’d…immediately have a much better system.”

Proverbs 29:18 - https://www.sefaria.org/Proverbs.29.18?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Isaiah 40:31 - https://www.sefaria.org/Isaiah.40.31?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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