This week I was honored to attend the rabbinic ordination at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. This also marks the 13th anniversary of my own rabbinic ordination. I watched the seven newly minted rabbis look at the audience with joy, a little trepidation, and mostly, accomplishment over their completed journey.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson charged the rabbis with knowing themselves and coming to terms with the brokenness that exists within each person. He reminded the new rabbis and current rabbis that before brokenness becomes irreparable, to identify and reach out to other rabbis, mentors, friends, or family. The people that will ground us. The people that will hold us when we don’t even realize we need holding. The people that remind us of who we are.
Rabbi Artson was speaking to rabbis, but his advice rang true for all. Can we name the people that without hesitancy, we would call if truly in need? Often, shame, embarrassment, pride, and ego cloud our ability to reach out. Who am I to ask for help? But instead, perhaps, we can shift the paradigm. As one of God’s creations, it is incumbent upon our very being to find ways to repair ourselves, to seek out ways to heal our souls.
I am the rabbi I am because of those that see me. We walk in the world as the best versions of ourselves when we know we get to be authentic versions of ourselves. Rabbi Artson reminded us that we all wear masks in this world—it is natural. But who exists within our universe that allows us to take off the mask? Who sees us when we need to be seen?
We glean wisdom from the Psalmist, “I turn my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.” From where does our help come? Our help arrives in those God put on this Earth to serve as our guide, to serve as our anchor.
May we have the fortune of knowing ourselves. But when we lose our way, may God’s messengers lift us up…over and over again.
Rabbi Nicole Guzik is a rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik or on Instagram @rabbiguzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.