Seek or Be a Rabbi

Everyone needs a Rabbi, and every Rabbi needs to mentor. It's one of the perpetual self-licking ice cream cones of life – one needs the other, ying and yang, and so on.

My Rabbi as a cop eventually became Sgt. Imbriaco. He was the epitome of a Police Sergeant when he was my boss, and he wrangled us nutjobs on several patrol teams and most of the time when I was on my agency's Street Crimes Unit.

His calm, careful demeanor was steadying in our fast-paced environment of law enforcement and justice where criminality and life is often on the line. His fair thoughtfulness in dealing with even the worst of the worst was notable, and when Sgt. Imbriaco became cynical and dismissive of our local dirtbaggery, or sometimes of the very few less-than-optimal fellow officers when they engaged in stupid cop tricks, or carefully of the PD brass when they occasionally reigned from on high without a whit through sheer idiocy, it was good and necessary while always educational, funny, intriguing, and seemed quite righteous.
We were “his boys” and he treated us without the snotty Ivy League better-than-thou'ism of some leaders, and as the thoughtful, lethal, curious, experienced, nosey cops we were.

It was indeed a sad day when he was no longer in charge of SCU, which caused us to endure less. It was quickly apparent that it was time to move on; quality in leadership shows at the subliminal level and is indicative of the person, and lesser always tends to motivate those seeking more to find it elsewhere.

It has been my heart's desire since being a wee lad to someday grow a son or sons who blossom deep with character and grow skilled in their passions. 
Now that I have two very young sons who look to me with hero-worshipping eyes not fully deserved, I realized once again that I need to be their Rabbi in so many areas, both now as their father and later as their mentor.  

Who is your Rabbi? Have you found one?
If you haven't yet, you should. Seek out excellence in those within the areas that intrigue your passions and grow your soul and skills. Then, sit at their feet, in every sense those words mean.
Learn from them, ask all the questions, as those with the Rabbi-spirit yearn to pass on their wisdom, then contemplate what you've learned and carefully mold those physical skills and mental nuggets to fix or enhance the life and skills growing within you. 

OR – if a Rabbi has not yet grabbed you out of the blue and just started mentoring you, then maybe YOU are the problem.
You see, quality always seeks and senses the nebulous qualities in the up and coming, and if you aren't quality enough – as a person, and as a seeker or growing practitioner of expertise – then a quality Rabbi will intuitively sense you do not have enough deepness-of-heart and character and are not deeply seeking to become even more of the quality you could be – hence, you will be ignored for those who are.
If you are a dirtbag at the soul level, such is palatably sensed by the wiser who seek to mentor. It is why those we view as excellent seem to always be growing others who are obviously good hearted and growing in wisdom and skill in order to be solid someday, yet evil always seems to be growing those with a similar lesser or evil spirit.  

It's the heart that matters. Skill, expertise, and wisdom can be grown in the willing, but the heart and spirit and the soul are either good and of depth – or not.
If YOU are not of depth, no matter your skill level or lack thereof, a quality Rabbi will instinctually find someone else who is.   

If you can be and should be someone or some group's Rabbi, have you accepted that calling?
It is a terrible afront when those with the skill, expertise, experience, training, and ability to grow others ignores that call. 
I am convinced most have experienced the Rabbi call at some point in life. Not all answer that call…laziness, self-interest at too deep a level, or other such nonsense and shortsightedness is allowed to deter some from The Call.
Yet, others need you and your wisdom, and it is selfish and darn near borderline criminal to not pass on what is desperately needed by others.  

To those of you who have accepted your calling to grow, coach, encourage, and mentor others, are you doing so to the best of your abilities? Or has the constant-ness of growing others become heavy and your desire to answer The Call has become listless?
Do you see it as one of the callings you've been gifted and therefore treated with the utmost respect that being a Rabbi needs? 
If you as a Rabbi need a break to rejuvenate, take it. Others need you and what you can impart, and your own soul is important to preserve through the nutriment of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical growth and regrowth.

You see, you Rabbis have been granted unique situations and skills and abilities and experiences in life, all quite different from so many others – some good and many horrendously bad. 
The good and bad were simply results of good, lucky, or poor decisions in life, or in tactics, or God's will, or even simply given through the fickleness of fate.
That good and bad can be harnessed and learned from by the thoughtfully open, and those specific or greater overall lessons deserved to be passed on to those wise enough to listen so they can grow even better than you may have. It's always about others and their best. 

It takes courage, love, fortitude, an honest review mirror, and a lack of self to accept the calling to be someone's Rabbi. It takes a willingness to use personal failings and faults as lessons, to diagnose our many missteps for those who may look up to us in order to keep them from failing, all in order to teach and guide those willing to learn and follow.
Such can only come from a place of love for others' future betterment than for self and is desperately needed to be given by those called to lead or grow others.

Here's the lesson:
Seek out your Rabbi.
Learn from your Rabbi. 
Strive to someday become a worthy Rabbi.
Be someone's Rabbi.

Everyone needs a Rabbi, and every Rabbi needs to mentor.
Seek or be a Rabbi.

Adam Winch
Founder, Defenders USA

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