Tomorrow (Monday), twenty-ish of my friends and colleagues are going to enter the Rabbi-tron as mere gifted students of the Torah and are going to emerge, triumphantly, glitteringly: clergy.
It’s the coolest thing ever. Truly, truly. Watching an ontological change (as I believe ritual effects, and most certainly something like an ordination ritual) happen before your very eyes, watching people enter the final stages of one long process and simultaneously begin the very first stages of a whole other sort of process… it’s just beautiful. (OK, the ceremony is mostly just a bunch of guys talking and then a beit din of three holds Torahs and does some hocus pocus–but really, it’s pretty nifty.)
This was the class that schooled us, the class that was in its second year when we were first-years, that gave us the good proverbial bonking on the head about how to get through this agonizingly long, complex, and mysteeeeerious world called, “rabbinical school.” (OK, maybe they didn’t have any secrets. But they sympathized when we were on the brink of falling apart over that first semester Bible class and occasionally gave us a word or two of advice as to how to navigate beit midrash or whatever.)
There are a lot of excellent people in this group, and they’re going to make some seriously kick-ass rabbis. I’m really sorry that I can’t be there to make inappropriate amounts of cheering noise (really, they always look at me funny when I do ulluations and don’t just clap politely like all the civilized people) and celebrate with everybody, but I am still here, in the Holy Land, up to my eyeballs in paper-writing. I’ll have to cheer from afar and look forward to seeing at least some people when I get back to town.
Mazal tov, brand-spankin’-new rabbis!