• Jodi Samuels

Looking the Part


Neither Gavin nor I grew up religious. Our journeys started separately in our teens. Gavin had always been the more “religious” of us. As we are very involved in community building, people often assume Gavin is a “Rabbi”. A Rabbi’s wife is often known as the “Rebbitzen”. I usually instead clarify that I must therefore be the “Rebel”. To be honest, there are many things that I struggle with or are a work in progress for me. Over the years people have challenged me why I devote thousands of hours a year to building a Jewish Community and bringing people close to Judaism if I do not look the "part". I have my answers, but today I read something from Rabbi Sacks z'l that gave me insight. Moses, the greatest leader of the Jewish people who led the people out of Egypt, never made it to Israel. Joshua brought the people to Israel, however, it’s an imperfect land with many challenges. We know that we are put here on Earth to make a difference. Making a meaningful difference is a daunting task. We learn from the Mishna “It's not for you to complete the task, but neither are you to desist from the task.” While I am aware that I am not the perfect role model or leader, I know there is a huge job out there building community, connecting people, and changing the world in my own way. My blessing to each of us is to see the potential we have to be an influencer in our own lives and that we too can make difference - even if we may not look the "part". Shabbat shalom