“Raise game.” When I began rabbinical school, a friend of mine who was already ordained offered me these two words of wisdom when I asked for advice about how to handle the instantaneous increased authority that comes even from studying to be a rabbi. The point is clear: when more is expected, more must be delivered. Grow into the shoes you’re being given.
In 1990, when I was 12 years old, I moved to Durham, NC, a smallish Southern college town. The Durham Jewish community was quaint; two synagogues that shared the Hebrew high school I attended. I only remember there being five Jewish kids in my public high school, including the rabbi’s daughter. Most of the kids at my Hebrew high school went to the private schools across town.
Almost everyone I know is bone-weary or disillusioned or angry or ashamed or frightened or struggling. Paralyzed with stunned disbelief.