Lee Diamond

Lee Diamond – Once upon a Rabbi

Lee Diamond – Once upon a Rabbi

My teachers were great scholars

Indeed they were Talmidim Chachamim.


We learned well. We learned Talmud and shulchan aruch in their historical context.

We learned commentaries and history and



But we were a new generation for

Our Eastern European teachers.

It was hard for them to respect

Our somewhat limited American

Jewish backgrounds.


But we nonetheless took them seriously.

The problem was that they took us less seriously.

How could a native born American be a Talmud chacham?

And a rabbi?


The message was that we were less then them

That we were never to be scholars of Torah.


And then we became rabbis

And now we knew more than all the congregants.

They were impressed with our knowledge and wisdom.

And they complimented us all the time

And we became their priests

And came to us for advice

And we accepted this role of priesthood

And compliments of our knowledge

And Jewish wisdom

And we stopped learning

And growing in knowledge

And we became what our teachers were

Egotistical, Arrogant priests

Of a different order

Gowns and tailored talitot

And priestly hats

And we spoke down to our fellow Jews

because we were rabbis.


And to some extent we stopped listening

But continued to preach

And we became full of our selves

And empty of our mission

To learn Torah

To understand our times

Our Jews

Our need to lead

With passion, understanding

Knowledge and responsibility.


They are the real Jews

We were appointed

To teach and be their  guides for the



And we forgot  them

And we served ourselves and not them


Every jew is commanded

To find himself a rabbi

Even the Rabbis.


We need rabbis who hear the voice of the still Small voice

To be led in order to lead.


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