Tag Archives: Birthright

Call of the Wild

30 Dec

A few minutes ago, a hundred or so demonstrators passed below our window overlooking the square of Jerusalem’s old city.  A hundred people chanting loudly and beating drums while holding placards against the freeing of murderous prisoners and terrorists.  It was raining hard, but that didn’t stop them.  Earlier in the day, I stood in the same square, speaking with Birthright and Hebrew U students, helping them don tefilin, some of them for the first time.  I explained that tefilin are a commandment from the Bible that Jews have to do.  They wanted to know more, so I told them that tefilin connect our mind and heart to God.  It’s not rocket science, but it’s a good job for a Jewish boy (besides, tefilin are only a small part of the job description).  It was my mother’s yahrtzeit today, she passed away exactly a year ago.  She was very open minded; she wanted me to do whatever I want in life as long as I became a doctor.  I tried, I really did.  I was premed in college, but I felt the call of Israel and Judaism, not of medical school.  I moved to Israel and became a rabbi.  If I let her down, she never let me know.  From where she is now, I trust she understands.