All parents have wishes of what their children will become and this is mine: I want my daughter to be a rabbi. At the young age of 4, my daughter loves being Jewish. She loves Shabbat, she loves all the Jewish holidays, and she loves learning about Judaism. She says the Kiddush proudly on Friday nights wearing her kippah.
My daughter is lucky to attend preschool at our local JCC and the program is simply amazing. Not only has she made wonderful friends, but my husband and I have, too. She learns about doing mitzvot and about being a mensch. She learns about the Jewish holidays and takes it all in like a wet sponge.
For someone who went to the Joint Program, (Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University) I have a good understanding of what Rabbinical school entails and I think she would be able to handle it.
1. She is very perceptive and empathetic. When she sees a friend not being nice to another friend, she will go over and make a funny face to her friend whose feelings were hurt to make him/her laugh. She would be a great guide to congregants/students.
2. When she had Shabbat Bear, a shared stuffed animal at her preschool, for the weekend, she made sure he was included in Kiddush which makes me think she would be welcoming to all on Shabbat and holidays.
3. She makes up songs with random Hebrew words, which makes me think once she learns more words, her songs will be phenomenal!
4. She loves people of all ages and is open to talking with anyone. Though it makes me nervous now that she will talk to strangers, but I can see the positive side of this for the future.
5. She is very strong. She asks questions about anything and everything including princesses and Shabbat and you had better answer her. She will not give up until you answer her. I can see her debating Talmud with the best of them!
6. She loves learning and will have great discussions about Tanakh and Jewish history.
7. When a friend is sick she feels sad for him/her and wants to cheer him/her up (she will lead in the mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick).
8. She is stubborn, but not too stubborn. She will stomp her foot when she wants something, such as a cupcake, but can let it go when a compromise is offered. As a rabbi, she would lead great conversations with congregants and stand her ground.
9. She loves to research and “do homework.” Which means she would be committed to her studies in Rabbinical school.
10. She loves being Jewish!
I see it all so clearly and yet she is only 4 years old. When she talks about growing up now, she tells me one minute that she will be a princess and the next minute that she will be a mermaid. The other day she even told me when she grows up that she wants to clean the toilets in her house like I do. So, she has her own thoughts and her own dreams. Even though I have thoughts and dreams for her, too, I will allow her to grow on her own, with guidance, and choose to be whatever she wants to be.
I wouldn’t mind her cleaning our toilets now, though.