Religion & Beliefs

You need a rabbi-crush!

Wondering how to have a more interesting or meaningful Jewish life?  Take this little quiz, and if you can answer YES to all of these questions… you just need a rabbi-crush!      (What’s a rabbi-crush, you ask?  A rabbi-crush … Read More

By / November 29, 2006

Wondering how to have a more interesting or meaningful Jewish life?  Take this little quiz, and if you can answer YES to all of these questions… you just need a rabbi-crush!   

 

(What’s a rabbi-crush, you ask?  A rabbi-crush is when you wish someone else’s rabbi could be your rabbi.  Usually, this state results from exposure to a smart young rabbi with crazy interpretations but totally hardcore rabbi-skills.  Often they’re cute and frum and you find yourself entertaining notions of giving up bacon for life, wearing long skirts, and raising kids who can speak Hebrew. 

I know it sounds nuts, but this happens to a lot of secular Jews when they meet the “right” rabbi… a smart rabbi who can never be their rabbi because they aren’t observant. 

It’s the thrill of exposing yourself to something wonderful you’ll never get to have (unless you really do become a frumster yourself) But the exposure itself can be life-changing, and you may find, as I did, that while you aren’t willing to lead that particularly restrained kind of life… the more orthodox rabbis can be… well… better for a lot of things. 

Because they fucking love Torah, and they know it inside and out.  Because that love is contagious.

 

But bear in mind, to find your rabbi crush, you have to venture outside your comfort zone.

 

And now the quiz…

 

  1. Do you enjoy intellectual and political debates?
  2. Are you an adventurous person?
  3. When you visit other countries, do you eat the food people offer you?
  4. Are you a little bit competitive?
  5. Do you enjoy challenging others?

  

So, now that you’ve answered YES to these questions, you need a rabbi-crush. 

 

But you don’t want to run off to a boring Chabad lunch-and-learn (unless you enjoy that kind of thing, in which case don’t let me stop you) because  my experience has taught me that the smarter you are, the less this particular brand of Jewish observance will appeal.  You might even decide Judaism is boring and isolationist.  You might get mad at Faithhacker.

 

Instead you need to find a smart young (maybe even hot) rabbi, someone who will meet you on your own terms, someone in a kippah who won’t judge you. Someone who’ll appreciate your “outside the box” ideas. 

 

The best place to look for your rabbi-crush is Pardes (which is in Israel, but offers classes in a lot of US cities).  People go apeshit for Pardes. 

But often, you’ll also find a rabbi-crush through your local  Kollel (ask around to find the right person… there’s a wide range of people at Kollel, but I met one of the best rabbis I know through Atlanta Kollel)

 

You’ll need to head for a lunch-and-learn or a Shabbat dinner in a strange place, maybe even try out a few before you find the right rabbi.  But I promise you, a few hours with someone who really knows things you don’t… can have a huge effect on your path.  And you might even go back for more!

 

I have my own rabbi-crush, but I don't want to embarass him, so I won't tell you who he is. Even though you'll meet him soon!

 

Meanwhile… why not try it?

 

What are you …chicken?!