Sept. 24, 2020

Dr. Rick Hodes on Psalms 106:3 and Deuteronomy 4:6– “Doing Righteousness at All Times”

Dr. Rick Hodes, Medical Director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is Mark’s very special guest today. Rick has dedicated his life to helping the people of Ethiopia through his work with both Mother Teresa’s Mission and the JDC, has adopted five Ethiopian children and raised countless others over the years. He is also the subject of the HBO documentary, ‘Making the Crooked Straight’, and the book, This is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes, by Marilyn Berger. Mark considers it a great honor and pleasure to call Rick his friend, noting that he ‘exemplifies what it means to be both a good and a great man’. Rick has chosen Psalms 106:3 to discuss with Mark, and, in a surprise move, Mark has chosen Deuteronomy 4:6 to discuss with Rick today.

Their conversation starts off with Rick offering his summary of his chosen passage, the Talmud’s answer to doing righteousness ‘at all times’, and how he has fulfilled this responsibility throughout his life and work. Rick also shares his experience of blessing and happiness in his life, a detailed account of his first two adopted children and their journey to receive the surgery they so badly needed, and his account of the ‘fax’ that God sent him. Much of the podcast showcases some of Rick’s extensive examples of living out Deuteronomy 4:6, the happiness he finds in his work, and his startling stories of those moments when God has arranged things amazingly in his life. As with all guests, Rick brings this lively discussion to a close by recounting the lessons about mankind which he has learned - lessons which are illuminated in so many of the stories he shares here today. Dr. Rick Hodes is a man whose devotion to relieving the suffering of some of the most vulnerable in our world clearly renders him, as Mark notes, ‘reason enough to be proud to be a Jew’.


“By raising an orphan 24 hours a day, you are doing righteousness all the time.”

“I know that I am personally making a difference in the world and that’s just the greatest feeling in the world.”

“I’m offering you a chance to help these boys. Don’t say ‘No’.”

“You’re a Jew and she’s a Jew. That’s all you needed.”

“What kind of Ambassador gives you clothes from her own kids?”

“In America, doctors are afraid to pray with their patients, and in Ethiopia, patients like to pray.”

“We all believe in God, and we all want what’s best for the kids. So, just take a moment, speak to the Almighty from your heart, and ask Him for success.”

“In her mind, when she thinks of Jews, when she thinks of Israel, she thinks about her healthy kid and it puts a completely different picture on everything.”

“The Jewish people were asked by God to be an example to the world of three things: honesty, morality, and kindness.”

“Sometimes God just arranges things in the most amazing ways.”

“Happiness comes from inside.”

“The amount of good that can be done with a financial donation to support Rick’s work through the Joint is astonishing. It’s the best ROI there is.”

“Thank God for steering this young man to you.”

Psalms 106:3 -

Deuteronomy 4:6 -


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