Hope you’re having a great day.
… I get a Mazal Tov …
I just bought a new car!
A used Toyota Corolla.
I’m very happy with it and it’s been a very pleasant experience.
Until the other night!
I was driving in unfamiliar territory and was heading in the wrong direction.
And I got flustered and made a turn I should not have made.
You guessed it.
There they were in my rear view mirror.
The flashing lights!
And I said to myself, “Oh no!
I haven’t gotten the new title yet. I transferred my old license plates, but they’re still pending.
I was told that if I’m stopped, don’t worry…
“It should not be a problem”.
… But I was sure he was going to throw the book at me!
“He says, good evening sir. If you’re trying to get somewhere, that’s not a good way to get there!
Can I see your driver’s license and insurance card?
And your license plates don’t match this car. They’re listed for a Pontiac Montana van.
I need to make sure the plates are not stolen”.
It wasn’t looking very good!
But then he smiled and said something encouraging…
“Although sir, you don’t look like the type that would steal license plates!”
I thanked him for that observation.
And I explained the situation.
“You see I just bought this Toyota. The plates were transferred. I have all the paper work right here”.
And he went back to his car to check the papers.
“Okay sir. Checks out okay.
Please! Be more careful in the future!”
…”You don’t look like the type that would steal license plates”!
The policeman reminded me of something that I sometimes forget.
People expect certain things from me as a Rabbi.
And it’s not limited to not stealing license plates!
They expect me to be honest. Courteous. And to drive safely!
And I need to live up to those expectations.
And in case you’re thinking, “Boy. I’m happy I’m not a Rabbi!”
Because it’s not only if we’re a Rabbi. Not only if we’re wearing a yarmulke.
It’s enough that we’re Jews!
The people who know us well know that we are.
And chances are that other people do too.
(It could be our name. Or that we don’t drink at a wedding. But eat much too much!)
And they expect more from us.
And they should.
Because we’re supposed to be the teachers of humanity!
“A light unto the nations”.
… So next time I’m not sure I should do something?
And I need to make a quick decision?
I’ll remember the “flashing lights”.
The reminder to be a “light unto the nations”.
And I’ll try hard to be a good teacher!
All the best,