‘The Doctor And The Rabbi’ by Aimee Bender

The Doctor And The Rabbi by Aimee Bender, 2012

The magic trick:

Using a simple framework for a consideration of faith

It’s almost too easy. The doctor believes in science, not God. The rabbi believes in God, of course, but also needs the doctor’s expertise. Cut and dried. Black and white. And I’d criticize this story for being too obvious, except that it works. There are some very interesting ideas coming through here about the meaning of faith. And that’s quite a trick on Bender’s part. 

The selection:

“So, who’d I get?” she asked, now dipping the croissant torso.

His hands were shaking, slightly. He put them flat on the table, to calm them. He wasn’t sure why he was so nervous around her.

“Christians,” he said. “Of all sorts. Including a Jehovah Witness. Several Muslims. A few Jews.”

“Maybe it’s a new route to world peace,” she said. “Transfuse people.”

“And atheists?” he said, tentatively.

“What about them?”

“I gave you atheist blood, too,” he said. He cringed, visibly.

She laughed again. All that warmth in her laugh, like it could embrace someone across a room.

“I don’t hate the atheists,” she said.

“I’m an atheist,” he said, a little too loud, and he reached out for her hand.

For a second, she held his. His hand was much wider than hers and her hands, not usually considered dainty, looked small and slender next to his.


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