Welcome, everyone! Or, as we say in Hebrew, “Baruch Haba,” which means, “Blessed is the one who comes.” Now, Judaism has just about as many blessings as you could possibly imagine. I mean, there are hundreds if not thousands of them. In fact, if there is a daily ritual, chances are there is a blessing to accompany it.
There is something very insightful about the blessing of welcoming. Life, in so many respects is about showing up, is it not? As the old saying goes, “90% of life is just showing up.” I happen to agree with that. It fails to mention something very important; showing up can be very scary.
Every year when I would return to Temple University (my alma mater) I would feel this immense anxiety come over me. Every time I would walk into a new classroom, or sit down next to a new classmate, I would get this anxious feeling. I think it was the fear of the unknown. Still, each and every time, I would show up, because showing up is what life is all about.
It shows, 'I want to participate. I want to be apart of something bigger than myself. But we don’t have to do it alone'. That’s why we bless the one who comes. To let them know, we got your back! I am beyond excited as we embark on this journey together, because this is new territory for me as well. So lets “show up” together. Lets make this year something special. I look forward to welcoming all of you into my life, and I hope you all will welcome me into yours as well.
Michael, known as the Rapping Rabbi, reconnected with his jewish faith after spending six months in Israel studying Hebrew. From that, he decided he wanted to be a Rabbi. He has served as education director and Rabbinic intern at a South Jersey synagogue where he was named part of the "Top 20 Emerging Leaders” in the South Jersey area. His most recent work was as Director of Teen Engagement at Congregation Beth David in Gladwyne, PA, where he became known as the “rapping rabbi,” for fusing his love of hip-hop and Judaism.