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Dripping sweat and beaming, she jogged past the screaming crowds with her arms stretched triumphantly over her head.For her, the live rock music that played ubiquitously at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon sounded as good as a victory hymn.At the end of his sermon, the congregants erupted in applause. ” That’s when the cantor’s wife, who was sitting next to me, tapped me on the shoulder.I could hear them whispering about him all at once. “You know,” she whispered under the din of temple chatter.
When he spoke, everyone listened, transfixed, as if the words he offered were revelations — inspiring, challenging and healing all at the same time.After she finished, Eliana locked eyes with the people she was running for — her husband, Rabbi David Wolpe, and their 12-year-old daughter, Samara, who had stood huddled together on the sidelines waiting to embrace her.Eliana burst into tears, and the threesome collapsed into a tight embrace, gripping one another and sobbing. And as hoards of other runners filed past, the Wolpes celebrated their moment of triumph.It began in the fall of 1997, soon after the Wolpes moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey with their 9-month-old daughter to begin a new life.Already an accomplished author and speaker, the rabbi was in demand as a scholar-in-residence at synagogues across the country and had not planned to become a pulpit rabbi.