Posted in Life, Rabbinical School

The Next Step

Today I had an interview. It was my first (maybe only…) interview for what I will be doing next.

I am very conflicted about what I want the outcome to be.

The interview was for CPE residency in a hospital. It is a really good hospital and a really great job. I would be doing things similar to what I did over the summer, just full time and with overnights, and for an entire year. It will be a hard year, but a year of support. A year where people will push me, but also will be there for me. A year that I will really be out of the Orthodox bubble and out of everything that I know from rabbinical school.

But then there is the voice in my head telling me that I am giving up. I am taking the easy route. I went into this field to be a rabbi – a rabbi of a shul nonetheless, and I’m not even going to try. I am giving up on my 7 years of learning halacha to sit with people, and not even Jewish people. I am taking yet another year in my life before doing a real job – as this is only one year.

Or maybe this is what I am meant to do. I have always had a part of me that loved working with people and being with them. But then again, I love working in the Jewish community…even though at times I want to leave.

I know that I have a lot to give. That I am good at the teaching and community building. I am good at doing the stuff that happens in a shul, as I learned in Australia. I also know, that I know a lot of Halacha and should do something with it. That I have the real power to be a voice in Jewish history. That I am part of that change – and if I don’t go that way, then am I giving up?

I really loved my work in Australia. I really felt like I was doing what I was meant to do. I was treated as an equal; I was treated as a rabbi; I was part of the community. I want that again. I want to really be part of something; something that the shul really wants and that the rabbi really wants.  I want a real job, not one that was created for me. I want to be my own person and not tied to some benefactor – no matter how kind they might be. I don’t want to be chained to schools. When one leaves a program they should not still be attached…how am I ever going to be my own person that way?

I’ve been meaning to call a woman who is a navy chaplain to explore that idea, mostly because other people have told me to look into it. But I have yet to make that call…

Part of me feels like I am reaching for anything because really all I want is to feel settled and to feel some form of stability. I am reaching outside of the pulpit rabbi world because I have not heard anything from school until a meeting today, where I was told that I was in the wrong not to tell the woman who is barely in school that I feel like they have nothing they are looking into. Apparently the way that it works for shul work is they find a shul and push – but she wasn’t sure that was what I wanted – even though that is what I said. I’m damned if I have a plan B, and I know I would be damned if I don’t have a plan B.

I really do think that doing CPE residency would be really great. I think that I would learn a lot both about the job, but also about myself – which is something I haven’t really taken the time to do. I think that not having to move to another city or country in 6 months is quite relieving, although I guess the truth is that I would have to move again in a year- so why put off the inevitable. I think that being again in a job that I don’t need to fight just to prove that I have the right to exist is really appealing.

Because really, all I want is to just exist and not to fight…

PS. If anyone has suggestions, ideas, thoughts, etc. please feel free to share

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Author:

I am prone to overthinking and not to sharing. I decided to start writing and see what happens. So here are some stories and life situations (sometimes words of Torah) of a 30 something single woman, who happens to be a rabbi (received ordination in 2017- so there are posts of what that experience was like), will be working as a chaplain (and worked for years with older adults), is regularly asked what city she is located in (started the blog while living in Israel, found herself working in Australia, and will be in New York for at least a year), and is just trying to figure out her place in the world.

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