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My Journey to Rabbinical School

Learning about Judaism has always fascinated me. I have spent my life grappling with the creation story, wondering if the people in the Torah were real, and trying to figure out how customs like lighting Shabbat candles or saying a blessing before I eat fit into my life. Judaism has so many questions and to be honest I don’t have many answers. All these questions will be part of a lifelong struggle, but not necessarily a bad one. I believe that it is perfectly normal to question your religion because this is how we become deeper involved in understanding where our customs and traditions came from.

My journey to Rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College has not been a typical one. I have no Judaic Studies degree like most of my classmates, but that is okay. I went to culinary school chasing a passion and then decided to do the same four years later. The truth is when applying to both schools, I was afraid. Fear has always been a concept that intrigued me. Why are we so scared of making the wrong decisions? Why are we so concerned with what other people think of us that we put our dreams on hold? Fear has held many back from achieving their dreams. When I applied to HUC, I said NO to my fears. In September of 2020, I listened to a sermon for Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a time where the Jewish people ask for forgiveness for all the sins they have transgressed during the past year. Fear wasn’t a sin I will ever say I am sorry for because I didn’t let it stop me from doing what I love. That was the message of the sermon and I heard the message very clearly. The very next day I said I am going to Rabbinical school.

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