I grew up going to services. A lot of services. I was adept at counting the ceiling tiles, reaching into the thousands as my grasp of numbers grew more sophisticated. The melodies became part of my life soundtrack; I hummed them as my mind wandered during the rabbi’s sermon.
As Jewish leaders, we are looked to as teachers, guides, mentors, advisers, counselors, and confidantes. People trust us; with their questions, with their challenges, with their significant moments, with their children and other cherished family members, with their spirits and with their souls.
Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov was new to her congregation in Wilmington, NC, when she faced an unprecedented challenge: a Category 4 hurricane during the Days of Awe.
I do believe that some of the time, God whispers to us in the same way that God spoke to Jonah. As I reflect upon all of these incidents, I realize that by paying attention to these divine whispers, I have leaned much personal Torah. I learned the following lessons.