A Rabbi's World

02/16/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

Anyone who has seen the movie “Jaws” will surely remember the opening scene.  A woman swims peacefully in the ocean and all appears to be well, until we hear that pulsating, foreboding music.  You can’t see the shark yet, but you know it’s out there, and before too long, it will make its appearance…

02/09/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

It will be my privilege, on this coming Saturday night, to formally install my son, Hillel, as the rabbi of the Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation in Florida.  Technically, he’s been serving in that capacity since August 2011, but scheduling difficulties (i.e., getting the parents and other assorted family members in the right place at the right time) have delayed the formal ceremony until now.

02/02/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

 

To be effective in the pulpit rabbinate requires that one possess (or develop) an eclectic and demanding set of skills. You have to be knowledgeable in Torah, a master of synagogue skills, a good teacher, a good speaker, a good counselor, and of course it doesn’t hurt to be young and charismatic…

01/26/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

For reasons that I cannot adequately explain, I recently found myself watching a few minutes of a Republican candidates’ debate in Florida.  

01/19/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

After months of anticipation laden with some odd admixture of dread, pride, satisfaction, and a few other random emotions, our nest officially empties this Saturday night.  Our third child, a junior at Barnard who has already lived at school for almost three years, leaves for a semester abroad in Copenhagen- much farther away than Morningside Heights.  With our youngest in Israel for the year, our oldest in Florida, and our older daughter in Japan, we are left without children to pack up and send away. 

01/12/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World

For a variety of reasons. the pulpit rabbinate is a high-stress job.

First of all, and most obvious, I would think, you have to deal with more illness, cosmic unfairness, death and dying than almost anyone else except physicians.  Being on call 24/7, and having to be strong and composed for others who are suffering and/or grieving exacts a tremendous toll in both the short and long run.  Taking care of one’s own inner life as a rabbi is an under-appreciated challenge.  The accumulated grief wears you down.