Today is Ordination Sunday for the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A new crop of rabbis will be ordained. After five long years of study (and some of them six because they got another degree in Jewish Education) the newest generation of rabbis will enter into the “business” of the Jewish people.
This weekend I celebrate 22 years since my own ordination back in May of 1988. I still love being a rabbi-it is all I know. I only hope and pray these new rabbis will be able to deepen their own spirituality and help keep the Jewish people alive with their vitality, creativity and energy. The Jewish people needs lots of help these days. At least here in North America the Jewish people is I think in crisis. We lose so many every day–not just because the older generation dies but because we haven’t inspired enough people and carried the message of hope and love and inclusion. So many Jews feel not a part of this great covenant of ours. And it hurts my heart so to see them drift away-or go on their spirituality searches all but ignoring their own heritage. It is deeply painful that they run from the synagogue–a place of learning, and questions. They seek salvation in politics or some other drug. Rather than seek deliverance and salvation from the Life of the Universe, the Holy Sacred bond of Light and Love that we Jews call God.
So I pray that this newest group of rabbis-filled with enthusiasm, energy, creativity, intellect, heart and soul bring their selves to the task of transmitting all that is good and challenging about being Jewish to our people!
I am particularly proud of our student Rabbi, Ari Margolis, who will become Rabbi Margolis today. He will serve Temple Beth Ohr in Raleigh, N.C. with one of the great rabbis of my class, Rabbi Lucy Dinner. And I am proud of another student that served in our congregation Noam Katz who will become a rabbi tomorrow. He will serve a day school and at Camp George in Toronto, Canada.
Mazal tov to them both and to the Jewish people on this new crop!