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A Story of Arrival on Shmini Atzeret

May we all be able to look upon our lives and say, “Yes, Blessed are You, God, because my whole life has led me here.”
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October 6, 2023
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Lots has happened since I last posted on this site. 

I am almost a Rabbi, and I was ordained by the ALEPH Ordination Program as a Mashpia, a Jewish Spiritual Director. 

People ask me how I knew I wanted to be a Rabbi. There are two memories that come to mind. Although, from this vantage point, it feels that my life is like a prism slanted to a particular angle saying, “all paths led here.”

One major experience that led me to make the choice to be a rabbi came through the Jewish Journal, so I want to share it on this site. I was being interviewed by one of your reporters about a play I was doing in California. Sitting across from her at a restaurant, I remember wanting to only talk about God and spirituality. I remember wanting to talk about Judaism, but she kept asking me questions about the play. I said to myself, “unless I become a Rabbi, no one will know what I want to talk about. No one will know who I really am inside!” And so, it was in that moment that I admitted to myself who I have always been, and who I really am: A spiritual woman. A woman who wants to serve through spirituality.

I also remember being a younger person and knowing I wanted to be a rabbi. But,  I was afraid people would make fun of me. How could a person born into my situation, with a famous father, be something so seemingly OTHER than that? There was cognitive dissonance between the world around me, and this passion I felt for the truth of my soul.

Having a soul is the biggest blessing in the world. There’s so much room to get lost in the world, but having a soul, having faith, having a sense of self beyond this world, something eternal inside, as the Torah blessings say— “Natan Bitochanu” Life eternal you have placed inside of us— what a blessing! So, I want to say thank You to God. 

Tonight begins the holiday Shmini Atzeret. Atzeret means STOP. So, on this day of halting, of highest reflection, let us together take a breath to assess. Where are you really?  Are you poised to serve your highest purpose? If the eternal place in you is not being represented in this world yet, please, for God’s sake, for your sake, for all our sakes, admit it.

May we all be able to look upon our lives and say, “Yes, Blessed are You, God, because my whole life has led me here.”

Blessed are You, Shechianu V’kiamanu— and enabled us to reach— Lazman Hazeh— this moment.

Chag Sameach.

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