HOME: Weekend Reflections from a Rabbi
CAITLIN CAIN JANUARY 20, 2015
“When I am needed, I am needed. I pray that we learn to become more selfless in a place of selfies.”
Renee, her husband Shane, and their three children came to DC from New Jersey to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah over the holiday weekend. The family ended up at the Mall because the children are history buffs, and wanted to see as many Smithsonian museums as they could before traveling home. Although they enjoyed the trip, the trio was supremely disappointed that Kermit the Frog was not on display at the National Museum of American History. They will be returning during Cherry Blossom Time to find Kermit.
Renee is a Rabbi. She’s not currently with a pulpit, but is still active in the Jewish community; right now, she is working on two books. One is a fictional account of a female Rabbi, and the other is a Holocaust Hagaddah. Rabbi Renee is not only an author, but is also a teacher, sharing the Judaic tradition with children and adults alike. In her position, she also officiates around 20 weddings every year. Returning to the pulpit full-time would satisfy Rene’s true passion for her spirituality, but she has her children to take care of first and foremost.
When I asked their ages, Bailey—Renee’s 11-year-old daughter, donning a lifeguard sweatshirt— confidently asserted that she was the oldest. Twins Jackson and Sophie, age 9, immediately spoke over their sister: “We’re twins,” they declared. Then they playfully argued back and forth, debating who was the “cuter version” of the other.
When I talked with Rabbi Renee Edelman about her weekend in DC, she gave me reason for pause: “I could not help but thinking of the situation of the world, and the fact that every different nation was represented at the mall. I wanted to attach every hand in a long chain to remind us all why it’s important to stand together—not only on MLK day, but every day. We need to be reminded that the only way the world can fight terroism, Boko Haram, injustices in race and religions, especially Judaism and modern Muslim who cannot raise a voice is to stand as one.”