INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris January 17, 2021
When I was a kid, I am told, that I insisted I would never marry a pulpit rabbi. My father was a pulpit Rabbi for 40 years (happily retired now!). And then I went and married a pulpit rabbi. Lesson number one learned, never say never!
So the big question is a) why did I say I would not marry a rabbi? and b) why did I choose to marry a rabbi? And I did choose with eyes open!
In answering question a), I really don’t remember saying it, and therefore don’t really remember why I wouldn’t want to. For the most part, I was a very happy go lucky kid who thought it was cool that her father was the rabbi of her shul. We weren’t rich in monetary terms, however, I never felt lacking, we were rich in many other ways and I valued the many relationships I had with our congregants.
In answering question b), I think that answer has evolved into many different answers over time and is still evolving to this day.
When I was a kid I thought that my father was around a lot, interacting regularly in our daily lives. I thought living the life of a rabbi’s family was a great lifestyle and quality of life!
As I got older, I realized there was more to it than that. There was something about Torah and Yiddishkeit being the framework of your life. Everything we did revolved around the Shul: Davening, doing kindness for others and learning Torah. I started to realize that yes, there are many great benefits of the lifestyle with lots of quality family time, but it was also that Hashem and the Mitzvos were a main focus. And this was the seal for me. I saw this story told in my family growing up and I wanted it for me and my future family too.
In my naivete, I thought that you can only have a Torah home by being the rabbi’s family. When it came time for me to find a job in marketing, I decided that I only wanted to work in non profit. This way I ensured that I was continuing the mission of helping others.
As I got even older, I realized that there are many ways to connect to Hashem and His Torah. You can have any profession you choose, but how you live your life and the focus of your every day will be your differentiating factor.
And even more than that, when you are engaging in whatever profession you choose, at the height of engagement when you are solely focused on your task and you achieve greatness, recognizing that it is all from Hashem, and having gratitude to Hashem for your talents and capabilities allows you to infuse everything you do with a focus on strengthening your connection to Hashem. Making time for learning, doing kindness for others and davening may not be part of your job, but it is part of who you are and the tradition you hope to uphold and pass on to your family.
I still think, after all of these years, that being part of a community as the Rabbi’s family is unique, special, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. But in my aging wisdom, I have learned that anyone can connect if they want to and choose to. How are you connecting?