Witnessing the messages of Torah passed from generation to generation; hearing the update on the grandkids at Oneg; making a visit to a hospital bedside; sharing in moments of simcha or sorrow together; experiencing someone at their most vulnerable in a pastoral encounter; hearing a young student’s personal interpretation of a prayer during a classroom visit. These are nisim b’chol yom – everyday miracles that actualize themselves as gateways to sacred community, with the potential of impacting lives and fostering change. I am deeply blessed to experience these in my rabbinate on a regular basis.
My rabbinic vision is channeled through the sacred obligation of impacting lives: uncovering new and meaningful ways to bring about balance, wholeness, and relevance to congregants, in the midst of a landscape that is continually in flux and challenged by ever-growing distractions and value shifts; promoting a vision of “compelling community” – that which is infused with Jewish values and ideals, through teaching, preaching, counseling, managing, and guiding individuals in embracing their own Jewish identities and supporting causes on local and global levels; “Walking the Talk”: just as we ask our congregants to continually cultivate their Jewish lives, I believe a spiritual leader must do so as well.
As I strive to share the nachas and tzuris of life with this congregational community, I think individuals connect with me because, as one recently put it: “what you see is what you get.” There is no “rabbi” and “other” – it is me, all the time. I aspire to be among those rabbis who adhere to the concept of klei kodesh, holy vessels, teachers and guides through whom God’s blessings flow. I seek to lead and work along side my fellow Jews and fellow humans to truly achieve Tikkun O’lam.