From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

David Brenner: Chesed before fame

Laughter  (Public Domain)
Maybe it was because he grew up in the rough sections of Philadephia, or maybe it was because he was raised in the Jewish
tradition of chesed (loving kindness) – who knows?

Nevertheless, it seems that comedian David Brenner had his heart in the right places when it really counted.

Wikipedia explains that Brenner had prioritized having custody of his son Cole.   In order to achieve and maintain this, Brenner had to seriously curtail his professional engagements (including appearances on The Tonight Show).  Otherwise, the courts would have deemed him to be an absentee father.

This prioritization of family over personal ambition somewhat mirrored a decision that David’s father had made.  When Brenner Senior was a young man, he too was in show business.  However,
his own father (David’s grandfather, who was a rabbi) felt that it was wrong to work on the Sabbath.  In deference to this, Brenner
Senior also deliberately curtailed his career.

David Brenner not only prioritized his children, but also showed a great deal of kindness to up-and-coming comedians.  Wikipedia reports that “Richard Lewis, Jerry Seinfeld, David Letterman, Paul Reiser, and Jay Leno” were all influenced by him.


Copyright March 18, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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