What Qualities Should a Rabbi Have?
In a post that is already buried on the page I made the following remarks:
In fact I suspect that if you conducted a survey of traits required to become a rabbi piety and devotion might not even make the top of the list. Right up there at the top would be stories and story telling. Just for kicks I’ll address that question to several of the blogging rabbis:
(I’ll have some remarks about what qualities I think are most important at the bottom of the post.)
I am pleased to say that there are a number of responses that are worth looking at, or should I say all of them are. This is the kind of interaction that I appreciate about the blogging world. As I have mentioned before every now and then I have an interest/urge to go get smicha. I haven’t spent as much time exploring it as I probably should. I suppose that you could say that it is because I am not really interested or because I am and am afraid of it.
Really it doesn’t have to be an answer that is relegated to the either/or pile. There are shades of gray. I suspect that one of the reasons is that I find davening to be so darn challenging. Some days I am completely engrossed and others it is the furthest thing in my mind.
I know for certain that part of it is because the title brings a lot of expectations along with it and I am not sure that I am willing to wear that mantle. This is why I consider the qualities a rav should have because it helps to define what sort I would want to be.
I have experience working at several shuls. I know the politics. I hear the stories that my friends tell me (did I mention that I know many rabbis) and it doesn’t excite me. I don’t care what denomination you are, we all share certain things in common and politics is right up there.
As a result of all this I have kind of placed getting smicha on the back burner…for now. I am still young. I don’t see a need to rush. I know myself well enough to know that if I want to do it, I will.
If I were to become a rabbi I think that this is the kind of rabbi I’d want to be. A good listener. A great storyteller. Worldly and knowledgeable about life and Judaism so that I could provide solid, well thought out answers. Warm and friendly, so that people would feel comfortable sharing their thoughts/problems with me.
That is the rough outline and obviously it is subject to modification. More on this at a later date.