A few weeks ago, I was invited to New York to receive my Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary. When the letter came from the Chancellor of the Seminary, I was in a state of shock. Of course I’ll be there, I wrote back! I went a few days early to reminisce because my rabbinic studies began 30 years ago in New York.
As a rabbinic student, I always wondered what my life would be like as a rabbi; and here I was 30 years later as my career was slowing down. It was an overwhelming feeling. I felt so grateful as I have had the most fascinating and wonderful career.
On the day of the ceremony, I was excited and anxious. The synagogue was so beautiful. As my name was called and my accomplishments and honors were mentioned, I was drawn back 30 years to the beginning when I was ordained. I remember so clearly. I stood and took my vows in front of a Bet Din (a court of rabbis) that I would devote my life to doing God’s work here on earth.
Here I was being validated 30 years later that I had indeed dedicated my life to God and to the people I served. And at that moment I knew that as long as I am able, I will continue to work in the Vineyard of the Lord.