Volume 9, Issue 3, 5776

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My Rabbi Disappointed Me

Some of us view our rabbis as spiritual leaders and mentors, even friends; but we also know that rabbis are human beings and, as such, they may sometimes disappoint and frustrate us. These difficult feelings can result from a miscommunication, a difference of opinion, or something far thornier. When it’s the latter (e.g., your rabbi is having an affair with a congregant or has been accused of domestic violence),  you could feel devastated. Enough Jewish women have talked to us about this sort of disappointment that we wanted to explore it. We hope by reading these essays, you feel less alone and better equipped to handle a situation of conflict with your rabbi. We also hope you’ll find Rabbi Elyse Winick’s response essay as insightful as we did. The name “614” comes from the idea that, even though there are 613 commandments (or good deeds) for leading a Jewish life, there is always room for more. Our suggestion for No. 614 this month: Talk honestly with your rabbi when things go awry, even if you’re feeling shy or intimidated.  

Michelle Cove, Editor
mcove@brandeis.edu

In This Issue

  • Insult to Injury Denied Stamp

    How a professional rejection was made infinitely harder by my rabbi’s lack of compassion.

  • Still Playing with Matches Girl playing with match. Dangerous situation at home.

    I felt like I was 12 years old again, stuck helplessly in a system the rabbi controlled.

  • Snubbed After Intermarrying Jewish man with kippah pray

    My rabbi was wonderful in most ways, but he was not able to get past the idea of intermarriage in spite of how prevalent it is.

  • From a Rabbi’s Perspective elyse

    I am grateful to those who have respectfully disagreed and pointed out the error of my ways with kindness.

  • A Double Loss Man worrying

    It took many years to realize that my rabbi, who offered so little comfort after my father’s death, was grieving too.

  • A Jewish Form of Domestic Abuse Lisa_fishbayn

    Why there are agunot in the 21st century, and what you can do about it.

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