There are lots of important people in the Jewish community - the rabbi, the cantor, the mashgiach, but none more important than your bubbie. Listen in to hear about the roles these people have in the Jewish community.
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Hello there once again, and welcome to episode number 28. How's your Bubbie? Did the mashgiach approve of that? The rabbit will do this, the rabbit will do that. I tossed these terms around and I decided that perhaps I'd better do some explaining. So this week, we're going to talk about Jewish leaders and the roles they play, perhaps even for you. Thanks for tuning in. As a Catholic farm girl in Minnesota, I certainly never expected to ever be the Jewish party Maven, but 4400 parties and 26 years later, I am indeed an expert at Jewish parties. I am fiercely committed to helping the best vendors, book more parties in this amazing, lucrative and incredibly loyal Jewish party market. Let's go. In the Christian world, the spiritual leaders have many names. A priest, a minister, a deacon, a pastor, all of those names mean basically the same thing, the person who leads the congregation in religious training and spiritual worship. In the Jewish community, that person is known as a rabbi. Just like Catholics call their priests father, Jewish people, especially Orthodox Jews, call their leader, Rav or rabbi. Rabbi literally means teacher. To become a rabbi, of course, you must be Jewish, either by birth or by conversion. If you want to be a priest to go to college, and then to a special seminary school, well, becoming a rabbi is similar to that. It's generally a four or five year process to become a rabbi. There are rabbinical schools around the country and New York and LA and Philadelphia, Boston and Cincinnati. But that's about all. So if you're going to become a rabbi, you're going to live in one of those cities for a few years. orthodox rabbis must all be male, but in reform and conservative Judaism, rabbis can be women. rabbis can be married and have families. It's not like in the Catholic world where Catholic priest must remain celibate and single. In the Catholic world I grew up in priests were poor, and took a vow to stay that way. This is definitely not the case in Jewish communities with rabbis. rabbis who are pulpit rabbis, meaning they work for us specific temple or shool, are not required to be poor. They are paid a salary by their congregation. But rabbis are also paid for private events, like weddings or funerals or baby names. For people who are not necessarily part of their congregation, even Jewish people have mastered the art of donating to causes that help their community. It's one of the things I love about the Jewish community. Most temples have created a rabbis discretionary fund. When your Rabbi does something special for you, like performs your at your daughter's wedding or your grandson's Bar Mitzvah. It's common to make a donation to your rabbis discretionary fund. As a pulpit rabbi, you wouldn't be responsible for the spiritual leadership of your congregation. You would also lead the Jewish holidays and any lifecycle events that happen in your congregation for your members. On a daily basis, you'd be performing ceremonies for weddings, baby namings, bar mitzvahs, bat, mitzvahs, and funerals. And just like in the Catholic world where I grew up, if you're terribly sick, you call in a priest. In the Jewish world, when you're really sick, you call upon your Rabbi for special prayers or blessings, or just for comfort. Some rabbis are pulpit rabbis they are employed by a specific congregation. Other rabbis are community leaders, working for hospitals, hospice, schools or other Jewish organizations. I've talked in the past podcast about what an incredible job Jewish people do and taking care of their community. And I absolutely mean that they are terrific at that. There are tons of Rabbi jokes out there, but this one's one of my favorite. You're ready for a good joke. A priest, a minister and a rabbi decided to go skinny dipping Oh, no. Suddenly These are three women walking towards them. Each was a member of their flocks. Oh, the priesthood and the minister covered their privates with their hands and close their eyes waiting for the agony to end. After the woman walked away. They noticed that the rabbi had covered his face and not in other regions. He said, Well mindful Like recognizes my face. What kind of sermons Do you guys give? There are other spiritual leaders as well. So let's talk about the role of the cantor. We've talked before about how Jewish people have nearly 6000 years of history, much of that history was passed from generation to generation through song. And that's where the cantor comes in. People didn't have books with all the prayers or they didn't even know how to read. So songs were a great way to get everyone learning the prayers in a meaningful, easy manner. A cantor is very similar to a rabbi, in that a cantor has to undergo specialized training and Jewish customs and Jewish law. But the cantor also specializes in the musical part of worship. A Cantor can also be referred to as Hassan. A Cantor is not just a singer, he's a full fledged member of the clergy. Tune in next week when we get to talk with a local Cantor Neal Michaels, who is a Juilliard trained musician, and he has an amazing voice. But more than that, he is genuine and kind, I likely those are some of the very qualities that make him such a good Cantor. Only males can be orthodox Cantor's. But in the reform and conservative Judaism, women can be Cantor's to the role of Rabbi and cantor or official clergy positions. But in life, the bubbie or the zedi are often the ones teaching Jewish customs and traditions in their families. We've talked many times about how there is no Jewish language. There is Hebrew, spoken in Israel, and there is Yiddish, the ancient Jewish language. The Yiddish name for grandmother is Bobby. The Hebrew name for grandmother is softer or softer or sabtang. Just like in the Christian world, I grew up in where we call my grandmother, grandma or granny. These are Terms of Endearment, and they're often developed by the grandchild themselves. So I have a Jewish grandmother joke for you. A Jewish grandmother is giving directions to her grown grandson who's coming to visit. You come in the front door of the apartment, I'm in apartment 301 there's a big panel at the front door with your elbow, push button. 301 I will buzz you in. Come inside the elevators on the right, get in and with your elbow push number three. When you get out. I'm on the left with your elbow hit my doorbell. Well, Grandma, that sounds easy enough. But why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow? The grandson asked. She said what you're coming empty handed. Hope you enjoyed it. All right. The Hebrew name for grandfather is Saba. s a b like boy a Saba which rhymes with that famous rock group Abba. The Yiddish name for grandfather is zedi. Again, these are Terms of Endearment and developed by individual families. Jewish lineage is passed through the mother. So having a Jewish grandfather does not necessarily make you Jewish. If you have a Jewish mother, then technically you are Jewish, even if you've never studied or participated in any Jewish holidays. Are you familiar with a game called Jewish geography? Well, it's not actually a game just a means of building connections. As a red coat, Lady up our bar mitzvah parties, one of my roles is to hand out the party favors to each of the kids as they're leaving the party. One time many, many years ago already, I had the pleasure of working with a Jewish party planner. My routine at that point was to greet the child as he was leaving with something like, Did you have a good time, because everyone had a good time I was supposed to get one of these shirts. Then I would ask him his name and hand him a shirt. And off we go. Well, that Jewish party planner, looked at me and she had a whole different take on that job. As the kid approached, when he was leaving, she would ask his name, and then she would say, ah, Goldberg, are you related to Saul Goldberg? No, Harold Goldberg, do you know so and so? Did you go to camp with so and so. And she would work and work and work until she built some type of connection with each and every kid. She understood that seven degrees of separation rule and used it to her advantage. It was truly amazing to watch her in action, and I learned a lot. There are two more Jewish professionals that I want to talk about. There's the mohel and the mashgiach. The mohel, which is spelled m o h like Harry e L, but it's pronounced to rhyme with boil. The mohel is a Jew trained in the art of Britain Mila or circumcision. Some mohel are doctors, some mohel are rabbis. In America, baby boys are commonly circumcised at the hospital by the obstetrician. But Jewish boys are traditionally circumcised on the eighth day of their life. The person who actually does the circumcision is called the mohel. it's customary to have a celebration of friends and family on the eighth day of the baby's life. at home or at a banquet hall or at a synagogue, the mohel performs the circumcision following all of the Jewish traditions. The mashgiach is a Jew responsible for ensuring that the food at a facility is kosher. We talked about kosher food in podcast number 22. So if you want to hear that podcast, just go to Jewish party maven.com slash 22. It's all about kosher food. mashgiachs work in slaughterhouses or hotels or nursing homes or grocery stores or any food manufacturer with kosher certification. Every kosher caterer has a mashgiach on staff. The mashgiach is responsible for making sure that all of the kosher rules are followed, how the animals are slaughtered, inspecting the produce to ensure that it's free of bugs, all kinds of things. If you want to learn more about anything Jewish, just drop me an email. I'd love to do a podcast on whatever you're interested in. Send me an email to Pat at Jewish party maven.com. But for now, download our powerful cheat sheet, the basic guide to Jewish holidays. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter if you'd like just click the link in the show notes or go to Jewish party maven.com. You know the drill, follow me on Facebook or Instagram at Jewish party Maven. And once again, I'm gonna ask, would you leave me a review? I've learned that reviews are like gold, just like in the party world. So if you leave me a review, I would truly appreciate it. In the meantime, join me next week when we talk with Cantor Neal Michaels of Temple Israel. Temple Israel is the largest reformed congregation in America and Cantor Michaels does a terrific job there. Thanks for listening today. Talk to you soon.