New York City, one story at a time.

"I had the usual anxieties when I was younger. Making good grades. Keeping my parents happy. So there were elements of my personality that were drawn to being a rabbi. I thought it would give me a platform to guide people and make them happy. Pleasing people in exchange for adoration was a very convenient arrangement for me. But I forgot that if you’re in a position to please people, you’re also in a position to disappoint. In many ways the rabbi is a symbol. People see you as a symbol of how God thinks. Or feels towards them. Or acts toward them. And that’s a lot of pressure. There’s pressure to be fully present for everyone—even at the supermarket or Sunday soccer games. You always want to give comfort. Or a thoughtful response. Or at the very least your undivided attention. And that can be exhausting. Especially in the age of the iPhone. I had a wild dream one night that all eight hundred families at my synagogue were lined up outside my office. And everyone needed me at the exact same time."
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