I use the term "Your Moral Leader" as an inspiration for mirth but deep deep inside, I want to be a moral leader.
All of us are role models whether we want to be or not. Each of us has people who look up to us and are influenced by our actions.
Friday night in shul, I encountered a group of non-Jewish students from Pepperdine. It was their first time in a synagogue. They were there on assignment from a world religions class.
This was my opportunity to be a moral leader.
I got the bloke a kipa and stopped him from taking notes (a Jew can’t write on the Sabbath, and it’s jarring when anyone does it in a shul on a holy day).
I suddenly got very excited about the prayers that I normally find boring. I found myself animatedly explaining their beauties. This bloke had five semester of Biblical Hebrew and he could follow along if I helped him.
After davening, I showed them all around the shul and explained the mysteries of the divine chariot, the dima, the ark of the covenant and all that…
Then I walked them back to their car even though it was in the opposite direction from my journey.
Beth Jacob’s Rabbi Steve Weil is friends with a Korean pastor and every year a group of about 50 Korean Christians visit Beth Jacob.
My dad was a preacher-teacher and I can’t shake that influence. I want to be like him, only Jewish.
I remember once in an economics class at UCLA in 1989, the professor, Dr. Russell Roberts, asked me up to the blackboard to explain a point and I fear it took something like ten big black guys (or may be a glance from the teach) to drag me back to my seat.
Oy ve, I’ve squandered my birthright.