I still can't believe that the gut knows so much and how aware it is,of what is good for it, and what it wants. Although, I was suffering deeply inside, I must admit that I was really proud of myself and the action I was taking despite how scare and immature I was. I knew this principal from NY. He had moved to LA and become the Principal of a school. I called him up and asked him if they needed any Rabbeim for the next year. I knew that I was scared to be a Rebbe. It terrified me to be in front of all these kids and be obliged to keep them in order, focused, and learning, but still knew nothing else. I knew that I had a talent for loving kids, and caring for them, so what else could I do? In my mind, this was the absolute highest aspiration I could hope for. I had this idea that, if I would be a Rebbe, and get good at it, all my suffering would go away. At that time I believed the idea that all I needed to do was do all the things that I was afraid of doing and then I would be free. In my reading I had encountered this idea and it spoke true to me. I felt that the source of my suffering was the fact that there were so many things that I had dreamed of doing that I was too afraid to do, and all those moments of hesitation had piled up until they looked at me like angry demons demanding that I love them and care for them , and adhere, to their wishes. This seemed to make sense because the more I listened and the more I did what it had dictated, the better I felt, so hear too, I hoped and believed that since, I had always wanted to be a Rebbe, and was always too afraid to do it (especially after that first year) I figured that if I could conquer this mountain, I will have it made. My awkwardness, and sadness and fear will just disappear because I would have conquered my greatest fear.
The moment my Principal told me that I had the job, I was excited. I had won. I was so proud of myself. I had finally learned how to dress for success and talk with self respect, none of which I had learned as a yeshiva bachur 7 years earlier, but then he said one more thing which cast an ugly shadow over the entire year. "Do you have Semicha?" he asked me. "No" I said. "OK, so I'm giving you semicha" was his reply. That was his way of saying that he wanted me to be called Rabbi, instead of Mr or anything else. I must admit that, at that moment, something hurt so deeply inside. I felt a cry shout out. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "Tell him, that you refuse to take the job if you will be called Rabbi" I remembered that "Mr" Avi shulman was a Rebbe for 25 years and refused to be called Rabbi. I failed. I couldn't bring myself to do it. I wasn't strong enough to risk giving up a good job for the principle that I held so dearly.
I hated Rabbis. I didn't know why. I just knew that the last thing I wanted was to be one. Then why was I here? I had hoped that I could just be a person, "a Mr" who taught Hebrew, "perhaps" I thought, that would make it more bearable, to view myself as just a person who taught Hebrew" but the truth is that my hatred for anything Jewish was so deep that, there was no self talk that I could possibly perform that would alleviate the adamant stand that I had against any subject Jewish. I had no choice. I simply did not know myself well enough to know how much I didn't belong in that position. That doesn't mean that I did a bad Job. It just means that I felt like I had done something against my true inner voice. I was not living in alignment with who I really was and I felt it every day. I never, for a moment, felt like a Rabbi. I felt like an angry teen-ager, a hurt boy, a lost soul, looking for an answer but pretending he had one, underneath a suit and tie, a beard, and the glasses that separated me from looking into the eyes of the people around me and being honest about who I really am. that would take much more strength and much more time.