Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Putting Faith Vocations to the Real-World Test - Review of "The Calling" in the NYT

Yerachmiel Shapiro, a newly minted rabbi, shows up for his first job, with a tiny congregation in Red Bank, N.J. “We have no members, we have no money, we have nothing,” one congregant tells him. “What on earth did you see in this synagogue?” No rap or tattoo is going to help him here.
Mr. Alpert also made an interesting choice in introducing only five of the subjects in Part 1. The new blood that turns up in Part 2 helps energize the proceedings, especially Steven Gamez, a likable young man who is entering the Roman Catholic priesthood.
More so than some of the others, he goes beyond vague descriptions of feeling called by God and expresses some of the difficult questions people entering his line of work face. Doing the glum job of providing spiritual counsel at a hospital, he is confronted early on by the death of a child in a car accident.
“The easy answer, and the cop-out answer, is, ‘God is a mystery,’ ” he says. “But that doesn’t suffice. That doesn’t comfort me. It certainly doesn’t comfort Mom or Dad.”

(I didn't get to watch it yet)

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