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I'm not a Catholic priest

Friday, 16 August, 2013 - 3:40 pm

Priest collar.jpg 

Although I wear a large yarmulkah, many people seem to think that I’m a Catholic priest; for some reason the first thing they say to me is a confession! “You know, I’m not a good Jew. I don’t even go to synagogue on the High Holidays.”

Others must think that I’m some type of Jewish police asking for their Jewish ID. The first thing they tell me is their family’s strong Jewish heritage and how their grandfather was the president of the synagogue in the town where they grew up.

Let me clarify something important. In Judaism, there is no need for an intermediary to connect you with G-d. Each and every person has their own direct line to G-d – you don’t need the rabbi to do anything for you!

Conversely, the responsibility to connect to G-d is on each person. You can’t blame it on the rabbi or the cantor. Each person has the ability – and therefore responsibility – to connect with G-d on their terms.

And there is no such thing as one who is too far; it doesn't change based on what you do or what you believe, your unique direct line to G-d is always connected. This direct line is not affected by non-payment; whenever you pick up, the line it is connected. All you need to do is to reach out.

So this year on Rosh Hashanah make sure to join us for services. We’ll make it as easy as we can for you to participate, but don’t expect the work to be done for you. We’ll announce the pages, but you’ll have to look inside and focus. We’ll provide insight and explanation, but it’s up to you to meditate and personalize the ideas.

That’s the job of the Rabbi; not to judge and absolve, but rather to teach and to guide.

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