Interestingly, over the years to come, whenever I visited Jordana and her husband she would inquire how Eric was doing, so deeply had she been touched by his caring at that moment. Conversely, Eric regularly asks me about Jordana’s welfare. I’m not sure they ever met again but for me, as a witness to a brief exchange between two people in a moment of extreme crisis, it was a demonstration of Eric’s desire to always be there for those who are suffering.
Indeed, Eric’s caring for those who are struggling would become his defining political legacy as a Los Angeles council member and as President of the Council.
In Oxford, our organization specialized in hosting world personalities lecturing on values-based issues. A few months after this painful story, Eric was instrumental in helping me host his father, Los Angeles D.A. Gil Garcetti, to lecture to our students. Gil was all over the news at the time, having been involved in the high profile cases of O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and others. I remember witnessing just how close Eric was to his father and the special bond they shared. It was something that I was reminded of recently, when I was invited to the birthday party of a Garcetti family member, seeing the deference and respect Eric accords his parents and the loving bond with his wife Amy, whom I also knew at Oxford. Gil is now an accomplished photographer and the son he mentored has grown to become L.A.’s first Jewish mayor.
About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.
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