Me? A Rabbi?

Yesterday was a big day for me and nine rabbinical students from Sulam Yaakov, our beit midrash. Eighteen months of work came to fruition as one by one they were called up by Rav Don Chanon to receive their smicha – ordination.
When I addressed them at the following banquet I expressed my suspicion that they may feel a bit like fakes. Each of them know how much they really know… and how much they do not. I assured them that I feel this way on almost a daily basis. Those of us who have been privileged to know Torah giants, and who have encountered the greatness of generations past through the writings of the masters, are blessed with an existential sense of inadequacy. I say blessed because it enables us to keep ourselves and our abilities in perspective, but it can also be a curse. We can be deceived into belittling ourselves and our potential.
I reminded the new Rabbis that relative to most Jews in the world they themselves are giants, and that they bring a unique voice to Torah that those Jews need to hear.
The posuk in tehilim says Kol hashem bakoach, Gods voice is in power, and the midrash explains this means that Gods voice comes down according the power of each person, his capacity to hear “bakoach shel kol echad ve’echad”. Each one of them will have to find his voice in Torah , and the place that his voice can serve as a conduit for Gods voice in the world for those people who are listening.

Mazal Tov.

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