I want to address the blog, I am a Rabbi and I need your help.

I want to address the blog, I am a Rabbi and I need your help.

Rabbi Mark Borovitz

Rachel Lurie, my assistant, took down the blog because she wanted to keep the focus on Beit T’Shuvah and not on personal attacks. One person wrote to tell me that they thought that taking the blog down was like “book burning”, etc. I want to say that Rachel did what she did with the right intentions and to protect Beit T’Shuvah and myself. However I can’t help to be positive about the reactions we’ve received both positive and negative. I am re-posting the original blog including the comments. I encourage the conversations and am excited to have open and honest dialog with anyone about how to make BTS even better.

I have a deep commitment to keeping the lights on here at Beit T’Shuvah AND I continue to act with integrity. No one is treated better/worse because of his or her financial situation and as you know NO ONE is turned away because they cannot afford treatment.

For the people who accuse me of not doing my own inventory, etc. if you want to talk to me, please call and schedule a time. For those of you who want to accuse me without mentioning your name, have the courage of your convictions.

I want you all to know that I wrote the original blog, I am a Rabbi and I need your help, to start a discussion about passion and it’s limits and it’s rewards, based on the Torah Portion, Pinchas. I welcome your comments, all of them, personal and professional.

This Blog is about recovery and the newest blog is about transparency. I hope you will find my blogs transparent and interesting and stimulating.

God Bless and May the New Year be Sweet and Joyous,

Rabbi Mark

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9 thoughts on “I want to address the blog, I am a Rabbi and I need your help.

  1. I’m glad you reposted the original blog, Rebb. I have never known you as one to shrink from controversy or the uncomfortable.

    The analogy to “burning books”, while dramatic, was to say that it’s important to preserve the written word, no matter how objectionable; if for no other reason than to teach us the ways in which we don’t wish to be.


  2. Anonymity and the courage of conviction : Inasmuch as there is a holiness associated with Anonymity in Tzedaka; lending my name to an expression of discontent and an honest disclosure of my feelings might be led to sway another based on the veracity of my choices and acts in other parts of my life. EVERYTHING MATTERS and for me to associate myself with my thoughts in this case stands on the thin ice of lashan hara and character assassination. I have taken my obligation seriously this season to do my own cheshbon, AND I still stand to my conviction that it is NOT my place to approach those that have wronged me to take their inventory and spoon feed them opportunity to make their own amends by default. AND let this not also go by that I DO live in the grey and battle and struggle with the gratitude that these are the quality problems and ethical dilemmas of a man forever changed and bettered by the vision & strength of Harriet, tenacity of the working partnership & marriage she shares with Rabbi Mark, and Rabbi Mark’s commitment like the rest of us to 3 steps forward , 2 steps back, Grateful in the net growth.

    1. well said. I don’t know if I agree with you, but admire your conviction, I believe that you believe it, and I also thought it was quite eloquent.

  3. I am not an addict and no members of my family have ever dealt with addiction. I’m just a Jew, who had lost my way in terms of faith. While I always identified myself as Jewish, I was not practicing, as much as I was going with the flow.

    Then I went to Beit T’Shuvah. I reconnected with God and that is in no small part due to Rabbi Mark. I cannot comment on what it is like to be a resident there, and have a daily dealing with Rabbi, but what I can say, is that as a Jew, who turned to her spiritual leader for guidance, support, love and kindness, I am embraced and supported by Rabbi Mark.

    I respect everyone’s opinion and would fight for their right to say it. This dialogue may make things better for some, may help Rabbi to change how he does things, but let’s be clear, this man is a wonderful Rabbi. The attacks on him may be true in the eyes of those who wrote them, but keep your opinions focused on how he has dealt with you personally, not on his abilities as a Rabbi.

    To Rabbi Mark, you led me back to God when I was not even aware that I was lost. I will forever be thankful to you and Beit T’Shuvah. Not because you helped me get sober, but because you helped me get Jewish. 🙂

    Ilana Angel

  4. Kimberly Schwartz August 30, 2010 — 7:09 pm

    Dearest Rabbi,

    Those who are truly passionate about a calling and a cause (like you are) could never do what they do without a healthy dose of ego to go along with that passion. The irony, of course, is that our rabbis and teachers who most need passion and confidence to do their jobs well, are the first ones whom we resent for being human.

    When I was in college, the list of significant people in my life who had let me down were all rabbis and teachers. Thankfully, as a teacher and a Jewish educator in adulthood, I have had the great gift of working alongside several of them and now I know that they weren’t quite as disappointing as I once believed. What seemed like indifference was usually their sincere belief that I no longer needed them. I know this because they have since been there for me every time I have given voice to my need. What seemed like hypocrisy was more often changed circumstances or world views, the result of latter decisions made and actions taken by experienced educators/leaders who had learned from the naivete of their earlier years of practice. When it seemed that others received special treatment or attention, it was easy to forget that there had been plenty of times when that special treatment and attention had been turned on me.

    As an educator, I have been accused of being arbitrary and inconsistent; have been told that I am not providing enough attention or support to a student or program, have been asked to work harder or longer. It pains me every time because I give my job, and therefore my students and educational community, everything I’ve got that isn’t reserved for my family. Like my own, I have no doubt that your decisions and judgments are carefully weighed even when they seem arbitrary, inconsistent or (gasp!) unfair. I have no doubt that the work you did to save my sister’s soul, to enrich the lives of my family members, to create the space in which Victor and I could get out of our own ways for long enough to see a clear path to each other, is the same work that you do every time you answer a call from a member of this community who needs you.

    I know all of this because of your obvious passion and conviction that you have found the corner of the garden that you are meant to till and care for and leave better than you found it. I am grateful that you work this corner with a vengeance!

    I hope that you hear every piece of feedback that comes your way and that you always try to weigh your intentions and others’ perceptions equally when seeking to take the next right action. I hope for myself and others in this community that we can equally weigh our disappointment at a lukewarm greeting with the knowledge that your work has contributed greatly and consistently to our lives, always making them richer and more meaningful.

    Humbly and in gratitude,

  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  6. “I am re-posting the original blog including the comments.” WHERE CAN I FIND THIS?

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