‘There’s a boogeyman named Glenn Beck’: Rabbi explains how he and Glenn overcame their differences and became friends

Over the course of the last several months you may have noticed several guests on Glenn’s radio and television programs that can only be characterized as ‘strange bedfellows.’ Glenn has been discussing the importance of finding common ground with people of all backgrounds and ideologies in order to work to make this country a better place. On this morning’s radio program, Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, joined Glenn to discuss the power of finding commonality in the most unlikely places.

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To begin, Glenn explained how he first met Kula. A mutual friend, Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, introduced them about two years ago, and they have been friends ever since.

“I remember sitting down, thinking to myself, I don’t think this rabbi is going to listen to me at all. But he did,” Glenn said. “He was kind, and I listened to him too. And we have become friends… I think our friendship, again, is proof that we don’t have to agree on everything. We just have to agree on the principle of love and respect and decency.”

While Kula admitted that he initially believed he disagreed with Glenn on just about everything that hasn’t been the case lately.

“This is the place where you really can be honest – one of the few places in the media where you can be [honest]. If you had said to me three years ago your name, Glenn Beck… [I would have said], ‘What are you doing? Glenn Beck?’ ‘There’s a boogeyman named Glenn Beck,’” Kula explained. “[But] then you begin to sit with a human being. When you sit with a human being and look into their eyes and begin to have conversation with them and say ‘Oh, my God… This guy is so unbelievably soft-spoken. This guy listens more than he talks. This guy asks questions more than he has answers. This guy has a life story. I think I got to go home and rethink things.’”

As Kula explained, human beings change through the interpersonal relationships they create, and that is exactly what happened with their friendship. With that in mind, Glenn asked Kula how we can begin to encourage people to come together on the things that unite them.

“Look, if I had some magic solution, I would be part of the problem. First thing to say, there are no – I say that as a Jew – there are no final solutions to really important problems,” Kula said. “Here’s where I really am conservative. There are small solutions that move the drama ahead. When we talk about culture, I’m always weary of large cultural solutions… It’s going to sound so weird because I’m going to sound like you, but this is a problem of elites… What they do is control the narratives. They control the stories we hear, but there are so many other stories.”

“You can’t coerce people into being like you. You can’t coerce people into your values, but you can model in such a way people say, ‘These people look happy. Look how their families are. Look how they are living. Look how they take care of each other,’” he continued. “No one has a hold on how to love. It’s happening in the communities that people are demonizing. It’s happening in communities in which we disagree massively with people. It’s happening all over. What we have to be is like curators of the good and then purveyors of the good.”

Kula will also be joining Glenn on Thursday’s Glenn Beck Program, and Glenn encouraged his listeners to tune in.

“I hope you give us an opportunity to get to know you and have the audience get to know you in the coming months through your friendship,” Glenn concluded.

Editor’s Note: Kula will also be joining Glenn on Thursday’s Glenn Beck Program. Not a subscriber? Start your 14-day free trial HERE.

  • Anonymous

    Great message rabbi, Glenn Beck you need to be back on tv !

  • http://truthofg.blogspot.com/ Connor Kenway

    Now the liberals have a new old boogey man called the Koch brothers.

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  • Anonymous

    Notice that Beck has an increasing number of “odd bedfellows” as he calls them on his show. I think either Glenn or his Huff Post employee realized that if he continues the extreme decisiveness and controversy of his past, he’ll detract advertisers as he did on FOX. I think Beck is an innovator and an opportunist…an adventurous, passionate, curious narcissist. As he softens his image toward a more reasonable and religious person, I wonder if he’ll retain paying customers.

  • Nate S.

    Anyone who watches this and takes it seriously HAS to ask himself/ herself, “Who are my boogeymen?” If you watch this and all you can say (as one has done) is that “those liberals” blah blah blah or that “those conservatives” blah blah blah, then you didn’t really listen.

  • Always Vigilant

    I’ve found this to be a useful lamp of liberty holding timeless truths for today’s course of human events: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • Anonymous

    He is on tv

  • Anonymous

    You’re just an idiot. All your ranting and raving and targeting Glenn makes you look really stupid right about now.

  • Anonymous

    Do you think Glenn can retain advertisers if he continues decisive statements like calling the president a racist or accusing innocent people of being terrorists? Do you think Glenn will retain as many listeners with his increasingly evangelistic persona? Why do you think these observations are unreasonable?

  • Anonymous

    Glenn is brilliant and can stand on his own. You are so brainwashed about liberalism and socialism you can’t see the forest because of the trees. You are all too willing to give away your liberties and let others control you. You don’t study history or you would know that socialism and Marxism don’t work. It looks good, but never works. As for Obama being a racist, he is. So are you. The man is a narcissistic psychopath and you love him because his is black. He is destroying America as fast as he can because of his grudges towards whites. You don’t want to see it. Thank God for the people like Glenn Beck who old up a light for the world to see. In a few years, this country will be so destitute and we will be experiencing a famine to make us even more miserable and I’ll bet you never once think Obama or the liberals are at fault. You are just that stupid.

  • Anonymous

    You cannot know that I’m liberal, a Marxist or a racist based on my criticisms of Glenn Beck’s controversial statements. To rationalize such accusations, you must be very specific about what I wrote and why you believe the statements are racist or reflect communist ideology. You discredit yourself by making assertions without specifics. Name calling further diminishes your credibility, not to mention it’s just not a nice thing to do.