‘The Contaminated One’

Marc Gafni blogs:

One Friday evening in Salt Lake, I went with my friend Dalit and her two children to eat at the home of a Jewish family. We had eaten there several times before. It was not a place in which I had a close connection or relationship. It was more of an open house, a Friday evening event, that I went to in order to give Dalit’s kids an experience of community and Shabbat. The host called me over in the midst of the meal and said, “Take a walk with me outside.” “Sure,” I replied. We walked. He was silent. Then he said, “You cannot come back. One of our guests has read on a blog that you are a ‘confessed child molester.’ I know that this is malicious nonsense. We have discussed this before. I tried to explain to her that this was nonsense. But she would not listen. You may never come back to our house.”

I could not quite believe my ears. As I walked back into the house, it was clear that everyone present knew that this conversation was taking place. They all averted their eyes. I had never known the experience of the leper. The falsely accused. The contaminated one.

At that moment people’s eyes bore into my back as if I was?God forbid?a rapist or a child molester. And my heart broke for all who are wrongly rejected and detested by a society filled with fear. I felt the pain of the falsely accused, of all those who die in prison?innocent, with no one to hear their pleas. I felt the pain also of those who are rightly rejected because they present a genuine danger. For, had we grown up in the brutality of their lives, who knows how our souls might have been formed? The pain was so intense that I fell on my bed unable to move for most of the night.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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