For most of my life, I have been involved in the rabbinate. I grew up with a father who was a pulpit rabbi for almost 20 years. I was in the YU system for 7 years, studying with many rabbis-in-training and eventually becoming ordained myself. Most recently, I served as intern for at the “Bridge Shul” in Washington Heights.
Between my varied experiences with the rabbinate, my studies this year, and the evolving nature of the profession, I have been constantly refining my thoughts on the rabbinate. This week, I?ll be posting a series of essays about the rabbinate based on my studies and experiences from just about every perspective.
I have decided to organize my thoughts into three or four posts. The first will be about the Rabbi as an abstract institution, focusing on the halakhic role and authority of a contemporary Rabbi. Then I will address the realities of the current state of the rabbinate, including the nature of communities and how it effects the future of rabbinical schools. Finally, I?d like to elaborate on the existential side of being a rabbi while maintaining a personal identity (such as it is). If there is time or interest, I might add in a post on why I made the educational decisions that I did. I?ll probably conclude with a post responding to comments.
Disclaimer: Although I will focus on the pulpit, I will not be referring to any specific community or congregation in particular, but to my collective experiences.
I’m really looking forward to this — it’s a subject in which I take a more than academic interest (so to speak).
This article might be relevant to any discussion of today’s rabbinate.
“Synagogue Employment of Rabbis,” by Larry Magarik, Esq.