A Celebration of Rabbi Wolpe: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

The woman conceived and bore a son, and [when] she saw him that he was good, she hid him for three months

exodus 2:2

the son referenced in the quote above is moses. the commentator rashi noted with respect to the use of the word “good, ” was that “when he was born, the entire house was filled with light. [from sotah 12a, exod. rabbah 1:20]”

in life, you may have the opportunity to meet someone who is special. you may find interest in seeing whether special people are able to reach their potential. do they succeed? do they fail? rabbi david wolpe is a special person. he will be ending his long tenure at a prestigious west los angeles synagogue, sinai temple.

at summer overnight camp, approximately 40 years ago, my group leader aka “rosh edah”, was a mr. david wolpe. while i worked under him, most of my interaction with him was with the staff meetings. he was cool, confident and a great communicator. in fondly remember that he sported a members only jacket. they were cool back in the day like “fonzie’s” leather jacket from the tv show happy days. at the time, even though personally i was a train wreck, i could see that david wolpe was special. he had “the right stuff.”

as such, it was not a surprise that he became in demand as a rabbi. sinai temple, one of the largest and influential conservative synagogues in the western united states, tapped him to become their rabbi. there he had took the opportunity to be both great and controversial. he became “the rabbi that stole passover” as he questioned the historical fact of the exodus. i remember my mother, who was there for the sermon, complaining.

while as an adult, my affiliation with sinai temple was not that significant, rabbi wolpe remained a person i could connect with. i fondly remember his amazing words at my cousin’s wedding. as he married into a vietnamese family steeped in their tradition, rabbi wolpe touched upon that moment when he connected to the marriage as being the merging of from two ancient cultures sharing many similar values. i could see his words making an impact on making a family perhaps unfamiliar with a jewish marriage quite comfortable. it was a masterful moment.

rabbi wolpe’s greatness was recognized by many. he is one of the great communicators of his time. i have been on his emailing list for years and he has been a voracious writer. his accomplishments, challenges in life are left for others to cover. for many of you, rabbi wolpe is familiar as he was one of the many brilliant scholars who offered their insights on “the mysteries of the bible” television series his insights and comments contributed to the incredible series.

in sum, rabbi david wolpe’s story is one of both potential and fulfillment of one’s potential. as individuals, we all have some potential. the challenge in one’s life is becoming aware of that potential. while many saw rabbi wolpe’s greatness before he became great, did he? how does one discover their own potential in life? how does one pursue life without knowing their potential? how does one fulfill their potential? in this instance, when i first met rabbi wolfe, i knew was in an elite class. after all, he had the jacket to prove it! hopefully, he will find much success and happiness in the next chapter of his life.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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