Month: December 2013

How Do You Make a Rabbi?

I did not realize at first how everything this year is pointing towards integration, but when I lay it all out, I cannot help but see an intense drive toward creating fullness and unity. Often, I find it difficult to comprehend this movement towards integration when I am caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of each of the individual components of my various projects; it is hard to see the forest for the trees. To see how all the pieces of my life are asking me to create unification, I must take a step back. When I catch a glimpse of that ideal, I feel less divided myself.

Preparing to Launch

As I approach ordination (now less than 200 days away according to my classmates’ official countdown), I have some mixed emotions. Part of me desperately needs a break from writing papers and studying for tests, yet I also know that I am going to miss the intensive study that I get to do as a student the moment I start…

Religious School Inaction or Religious School in Action?

The process began with a massive marketing effort to explain, first, that Project Tikkun Olam was not a day off from school but a day “on.” Even though children were leaving the traditional classroom, our day of action offered an opportunity to further one of the guiding principles of our school: “One who learns in order to teach will be able both to learn and to teach. But, one who learns in order to practice, will be able to learn, to teach, to observe and to practice” (Rabbi Ishmael in Pirkei Avot 4:6).

Not for Self but…: Sacred Service Meets Military Service

There is work, and there is service, and I learned the difference during those few years in the United States military. Being a rabbi was a way of life and not a way to earn a living. Being a Naval chaplain was not merely a way of life but a giving over of my life to the service of my country.

Interfaith Ambivalence

I am fairly ambivalent regarding interfaith dialogue, which is the focus of my fellowship. On the one hand, as I am currently writing the chapter on my thesis about the Crusades, I see how bad the relationship between Jews and Christians once was! Even if nothing fruitful comes from interfaith dialogue, surely it is a good thing compared to the…