Since I have talked a lot about things that I don’t like, I want to talk a little about what I like.
When I was getting all depressed about denominationalism, I was thinking about rabbis that I respect and love; about Jews of all denominations who I think about when I catch myself almost making generalized comments about a particular group of people.
I have been lucky in being able to meet many people and rabbis who I love and respect from many denominations.
A particular rabbi that I know best and Misha and I often refer to as an example of how to be is the one who married us.
When I was a victim of a petty crime and felt incredible angry, but also a little guilty for “letting myself get into that situation in the first place,” the rabbi told me about small claims court and encouraged me to sue “so that I don’t feel victimized.” Well, that was the right decision.
There was a time when I was harboring resentment towards a once close friend, and was being tormented by it. After hearing what I had to say, the rabbi said, “you already know the answer to what to do.” The rabbi does not give easy answers, and that is partly what I like.
Misha was impressed by the rabbi because of the following story: Once someone was trying to tell the rabbi all the wrong things “less religious” Jews do. To that the rabbi replied, “Look, one thing I am really machmir (strict) about: It is ahavat Israel (to love all Jews).”
The most important thing is to know how to be decent to each other, regardless of affiliation.