Back in 1981, when I was attending rabbinical college in Boston, there was a young rabbi — fresh out of seminary — who founded a small congregation in the Boston suburb South Brookline. He would often hang out with us as “one of the guys.” From the day he started up his synagogue, he was quite successful. He developed a strong following and quickly put his name on the map. I often wondered to myself wherein lay the key to his success and popularity. Upon meeting him, one really could not notice anything particularly remarkable about him.
One day, I picked up a newspaper only to find a picture of this young rabbi sitting and chatting with President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, accompanied by a write-up about how he was sharing the message of Chanukah with the president. The story was carried nationally. That was enough for me. I had to find out how this young “shnook” was doing it. I asked him how he managed to accomplish all of these wonderful things. Continue reading