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05/23/2023 11:13:15 AM

May23

Freedom leads to obligation

This week is the holiday of Shavuot (Thursday night at 8 p.m. in the moadon for study and dessert, Friday morning services, including Yizkor, at ten a.m.), which celebrates the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai, fifty days after Passover, the holiday of liberation, begins. Freedom leads to obligation. These days in New York City or The Woodlands I see high school and college graduates sporting their academic robes. It makes me think everyone studies at Hogwarts, but also reminds me that the point of study is to finish, be free, and then obligate yourself to work and one hopes to be continuing to study.
 
When I was finishing rabbinical school, my rabbinic union was discussing the obligation for graduates to continue studying after ordination. There was no rule. I was confused. I said to a rabbinical friend, “Doesn’t getting a doctorate count?” He replied, “Eddie, not every rabbi goes on to earn a doctorate.” I was clueless but not out of arrogance. Rather, at 26 I thought myself so green that I could not imagine a rabbinate without a continuing, structured course of study.
 
Although summer is beginning, even in Texas, summer will end, and autumn will come. We will be offering a host of adult education possibilities and I hope you will partake. This summer we will also continue on Zoom Saturday morning Torah study. And if you have ideas on what to study, please let me know.
 
Chag sameach!

Wed, February 21 2024 12 Adar I 5784