Every journey begins with a single step. Let’s take me, for example. I entered Rutgers University as a physics major, but soon I discovered that I could not do math. I took the English major’s prerequisite, but in my sophomore summer I took a summer course of Russian 101-102. (I had previously taken two years of Russian in high school.) That summer course led me to major in Russian language and literature (I am ashamed to admit I forgot my Russian long ago), and I then went to graduate school for Russian literature.
I took the LSAT on Valentine’s Day in my senior year of college and I scored high. After a semester of graduate school, I withdrew, and applied to law schools beginning fall semester 1971. In between, I worked at a pesticide factory, and I worked at the Post Office.
I entered Rutgers Law School in September 1971 and was graduated in May 1974. I took the Bar, and I passed it on my first try, and by luck I took a job as clerk to a judge. I tried private practice for five months, and by luck I took a job as Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor. I was awful.
After 14 months, the First Assistant Prosecutor helped me to get a job at the Attorney General’s Office. I stayed 49 months to the day, and I sought a job as assistant prosecutor; an ad in the Law Journal didn’t tell applicants which office it was.
I got the job in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and I stayed for 29 years. I was the opposite of awful,
I applied to rabbinical school in 2005, and, as you know, I was ordained in 2014. I have been at Ahavas Sholom since 2005.
Many of you have similar stories. I would love your stories.
Lech Lecha, the Torah portion this week, continues a journey with Abraham (he was called Abram until God changed his name). God told Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”
Last week, we read the last paragraph of Noach, “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan, but when they had come as far Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah came to 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.”
Sometimes, an event in your life is motivation for change in your life. Probably, Terah’s death made Abram receptive to hear God’s voice. Abram journeyed far, in other ways than geographically.