So a couple of weeks ago, the publicist for Rabbi Sherre Hirsch’s first book, We Plan, God Laughs, invited me to email in questions for the rabbi.
Five days later, the publicist emails me to say that the rabbi will not be doing any more interviews because of family stuff.
I was able to derive a sublime spiritual lesson from the experience, more profound than any I read in Rabbi Hirsch’s book on Shabbos.
So here are my questions that the rabbi won’t be answering:
For Rabbi Hirsch. Please only answer the questions you find interesting.
* So why did you leave Temple Sinai? Do you prefer what you are doing now, being a media superstar et al?
* How has being a wife and mother affected your work as a rabbi, counselor and writer?
* What inspires you and what depresses you about the state of Conservative Judaism today?
* If you could change one or two things about Conservative Judaism, what would you change? Why aren’t you Orthodox? Do you get religiously lonely as a Conservative rabbi (as there aren’t many observant Conservative laity)?
* I suspect that you’re not able to help everyone you counsel etc… How do you deal with that?
* How do you reconcile your desire to be compassionate with your religion’s stringent standards? Do you tell people, ‘You can’t do that. It’s a sin."
* Do you believe in and talk about sin and divine punishment for sins?
* Do you think there’s life after death?
* What are the advantages and disadvantages of having women in the rabbinate?
* What have you learned about the news media from your first-hand experiences?
* How has your interfaith work affected your Judaism? Is it easier or more difficult to spiritually counsel Gentiles? How do you counsel someone who believes Jesus is G-d?