Friday, August 11, 2017

Rabbis and Their Children

Rabbis and Their Children

At Touro Synagogue, Saturday, August 5, 2017
by Aaron Ginsburg

It was a full house last Saturday at Touro Synagogue. We’ve heard a lot about cases concerning Congregation Jeshuat Israel and its appurtenances and paraphernalia.  On Shabbat, the case was about Rabbis and their children.

 Rabbi Mandel was welcoming and his remarks were succinct.

“Welcome to everyone who is here. I also want to welcome to my mother and her husband Eddie.

“Special thanks to all our members and friends who have been offering their support to our synagogue.

“This is the parsha [Parashat Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11]  that talks about parents and children.
כִּֽי־תוֹלִ֤יד בָּנִים֙ וּבְנֵ֣י בָנִ֔ים When you have children and grandchildren, וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ you shall teach your children כִּֽי־יִשְׁאָלְךָ֥ בִנְךָ֛ מָחָ֖ר when your children shall ask you questions.

“Rabbi Loel and Patty Weiss have much to be proud of with Yoni and Sasha who are leaders in Ra’anana, Israel and are building the Jewish State. Avi and Devra are very active in the Jewish community in Las Vegas, and Eitan and Amy are Jewish educators and directors in Minneapolis.

“Fortunately for Jackie and I, our children are also in town this shabbat. Many of you know them-they are all doing wonderful things in work and school.  Special greeting to Rochelle, Doni’s fiancé from West Hartford!

“The Orthodox Union publishes a magazine called Jewish Action-and the current issue has the following cover article,  “Growing up in the public eye: children of Rabbis.

“Sometimes, the children of Rabbis feel extra pressure due to the fact that their families are in the spotlight. Psychologist Dr. David Pelcovitz, himself the son of a rabbi, as well as psychologist, and Rabbi Dr Irving Levitz. According to Dr Levitz, seventy percent of  Rabbis children believed their fathers were over involved with synagogue life. Dr. Pelcovitz stresses that parents should include their children in their important work-Carmi has always helped me here at Touro with the minyans and other important work. It's a delicate balance between family life and community life. 

“The greatest Jewish leader was Moshe Rabbeinu, Moses our Rabbi. When was the last time you heard about Moshe's children? We hear about Yehoshua-we hear about Pinchas-but not about Moshe's children. 

“So we give a yasher koach to Patty and Loel-they have walked the tightrope of Rabbi and family very well. In a sentence they had a real challenge-because Patty was a dedicated Jewish  educator for many years-but they succeeded. May we all follow in their footsteps as we go on our life’s journey together with our families. 

“Join us for kiddish…sponsored by Rabbi Loel and Patty Weiss in honor of their children and grandchildren who are visiting them this week.  

“Shabbat Shalom!”

At the Kiddish, Patty Weiss made brief remarks, stimulated by the article about Rabbis and their children. She told us the three rules in the Weiss household.

1. The rules of the house are the rules. 
2. Don’t ride on a motorcycle.
3. Marry someone who is Jewish.

Rabbi Weiss amplified the first rule. This is what you do if you want to live here. Their sons agreed that they had never ridden a motor cycle. I observed the Weiss family beaming about their Jewish wives and daughters-in-law.

This case is now closed!

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