Of all the questions I’m asked, the one I receive the most is “why did you become a rabbi?”
The great commentator Moses ben Nachman (also known as Ramban or Nachmonides, 1194-1270), wrote “All communications [that came to Moses], whether they are introduced by the word דבר (speak), by אמור (say), or צו (command), were preceded by a קריאה, a call. That is to say, God said to him, ‘Moses, Moses’, and he answered, הנני, ‘Here I am’.” Being a rabbi is often referred to as a calling, but the truth is I never heard the heavenly voice calling out ‘Adam, Adam’. There is no moment I can draw upon to say ‘and that is when I chose to become a rabbi’.
Rather, I was gifted by my parents with a thick and joyful Jewish upbringing which included weekly shul attendance, day school, and Camp Ramah. I latched onto the community. It was a place of comfort and welcoming, but also a community that challenged me intellectually and ethically. I found friends and leadership opportunities in USY and Hillel. I spent a wonderful year of study in Israel after CHAT.
I chose to become a rabbi because I wanted to serve God and the Jewish people by helping our community, like me, find meaning in our shared faith.
As the Senior Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation, I spend every day trying to create kehillah kedoshah, a holy community. I am blessed with the chance to help thousands of Jews connect with their religion in a way that is grounded is traditional practice and relevant for the 21stcentury.
The best part of my role is getting to know the members of Adath Israel. Call me any time. The first coffee is on me