Dear Rabbi Lazer,
Until six months ago, I was a member of a Protestant church here in Tennessee. Our pastor, a highly respected individual with a PhD in Divinity, wrote a hand book describing the main doctrines of the church, because so many people in the congregation were confused about what they were supposed to believe in. Shortly after I read about how exactly I'm supposed to believe, I had a business appointment with a colleague in Alabama. I drove to Montgomery, arrived at his office, and saw this eye-catching book on his desk. The name of the book was "The Universal Garden of Emuna". By the way, my colleague is not Jewish; he's a Noahide. I had never heard the term Noahide before, and he explained to me that these are non-Jews that simply believe in the Jewish concept of the One God, with no additions or subtractions. My colleague (JP, who you know well) is no fool and certainly not the type for fad religion.
Anyway, I ordered a copy of the book for myself, which by miracle arrived within 96 hours to my home. I read it three times. The truth simply felt like a glove that fit. But, years of conditioning left me with doubts. I took the book's advice and went down to the river for secluded personal prayer. I held the pastor's manual in one hand, and the The Universal Garden of Emuna in the other hand. I cried, "Dear Lord, please show me the truth!" I thought that an hour went by, but by the time I finished praying, 3 hours went by. I never felt so exhilarated in my life. Such simplicity - The Lord, emuna, and me. All the pieces of the vast puzzle just came into place in my mind. I didn't have any lightning-struck revelation, but I walked away knowing the truth. I threw the pastor's hand book in the river. Then, I immersed myself in the river and declared myself in my heart a pure believer of God, nothing more and nothing less.
Gradually, the near-disappointments set in. I was ostracized by my old friends, yet no local Orthodox rabbis were interested in talking to me. I tried my luck and started writing you, never dreaming I'd get an answer. You really surprised me with your warm and speedy reply.
I owe you a big note of thanks, Rabbi, for making yourself available to a non-Jew like me. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and his modern-day disciples like you are truly the light unto the nations. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. JT, Nashville
JT's letter shows just how hungry people are for the real deal in spirituality. People get ready, 'cause the train's a-comin'!