According to John: Act 1, Scene 3 (The Sage and the Rabbi)

Joel Michael Herbert
9 min readApr 22, 2024
Photo by shraga kopstein on Unsplash

One of the Torah teachers, a sage named People’s Victory, a senior member of the Jewish ruling council of the Sanhedrin, came to meet with Salvation late one night. “Rabbi,” he said, “it is clear that you are a teacher from Above, carrying unique insight into the Divine Heart. These signs you are performing underscore your spiritual depth, and they prove that God is with you.”

Salvation locked eyes with Victory in his arresting, disarming way and spoke seriously. “Here’s what I believe to be a fundamental truth of the spiritual journey, friend: the Malkut Shamayim, the Good Reign of the Divine seen and spoken of by sages throughout time, is fully invisible to anyone that has not experienced a Divine rebirth.”

Victory smiled softly in spite of Salvation’s solemn tone, an image growing in his mind. “Say more about this, Rabbi. How exactly does one experience a ‘new birth’ when one is an old man such as myself? Are you suggesting trying to convince my mother to let me back into her womb so she can deliver me into this world all over again? I don’t think that conversation would go over very well!”

Salvation laughed, put off balance for a moment by Victory’s ridiculous remark. “The truth is, the path to life in the Good Kingdom, is through two birthing processes — the first, obviously, through our…

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Joel Michael Herbert

Husband. Father. Artist. Storyteller. Armchair Theologian. Advocate, activist and politician. Gryffindor. [neuro]Divergent.