~ Thursday, April 28, 2005 ~
The rabbinate is kind of an unusual pursuit, and sometimes, after spending a lot of time around rabbis-to-be, I can forget how the rest of the world sees, or doesn't see, us. That's one of the reasons why I make sure to go out and do things I like that are unrelated to rabbinical school whenever I can. It's good to get out of my little niche-ish RRC community. Of course, leaving that one to shove myself into the equally niche-ish Philly dance scene is arguably not much of an improvement, but whatever, I like dancing, and at least there, I'm surrounded by people who come from all different religious backgrounds. Of course, when strangers meet and they want to be social, they usually start by expressing polite curiosity about the other person, and sooner or later the question of what I do is going to surface. And then I have to share. As gentle as I try to be, it's always a little awkward, because most people have no idea what to do with the words "I'm a rabbinical student." They almost always react in one of the following ways.
1. Women can do that?
2. Oh, I met this woman rabbi once, do you know her?
3. I have this Jewish friend...
4. Oh, so you're Jewish?
5. [pause] Wow. [backing away] That's a...big commitment. [Meaning: "Oh, so you're celibate?"]
6. I think God is.../I think organized religion is.../In my church, we.../I'm an atheist because...
7. Where's your beard, hahahaha.
8. Hey, a dancing rabbi, hahahaha.
9. Is that why you have those little side curls?
10. Medical school?
~ prattled by Miriam at 2:32 p.m. [+]
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