What is a rabbi’s role?

The various rabbis who articulated their understanding of what it means to be a rabbi today in North America are pretty much right on the money.

In my own words, a rabbi’s role is to be a spiritual guide.  To mark sacred moments Jewishly, and to increase holiness in the world through teaching, preaching, modeling, and doing.  I think that the rabbi today must be prophet-like in that rabbis (and all clergy for that matter) must tune their ear to the silent cry of the widow, orphan, stranger and other in our midst.  Without being political, it is up to clergy to speak to the ethical truths of our rich tradition.  Rabbis get to also be human beings.  Fallible, thoughtful, with a life filled with a variety of interests.

On a related note, it is of concern to me when I read articles like this.  And many people thought I should read it since it was forwarded to me!  Even responses like this give me food for thought.  How is being a clergy member different then it used to be?  And what will it be like going forward?

About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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