I just got home from attending the ordination of four people I have known as "fifth year students" who are now "Rabbis in Israel." I listened to wise words and stirring addresses from a series of distinguished rabbis, I visited with some old friends, congratulated the new rabbis, and generally got "all fired up" for the next stage of rabbinical school. I have so much to learn! I have so much growing to do! It's a big Jewish world out there.
Someone said to me, "You'll be there in three years." All I could think was, how can I be ready in only three years?
Rabbis are "klei Torah" -- containers of Torah. All through Jewish history, a certain number of people among us have studied hard for years, learned how to learn, soaked in the tradition, immersed themselves in words of Torah (Written Torah AND Oral Torah) and then, when the time came, they have been sent out into the Jewish world by their mentors, to serve the Jewish world, and to teach others.
A year ago I stood at the Rambam's kever (grave) and renewed my committment to Jewish life and learning. Today I sat in Wilshire Boulevard Temple and found myself doing the same thing: lifting up my heart and saying to God, this is what I've got. Help me fill it with Torah, help me live up to this tradition.