After long years of study, my son Moshe Eliahu gave us tremendous nachas tonight when he received his rabbinic certification - semicha.
Almost twenty members of our family - from his two grandmothers (may they live and be well until 120) down to his youngest nieces and nephew came out to honor our first Rabbi. The only child in the family who was out of town tonight even called his brother to wish him mazel tov. So everyone was represented.
My granddaughter Rivka asked her mother if "Tatie", Moshe Eliahu, was going to spring a large beard right after he received his semicha. She was disappointed when the answer she received was "no".
Moshe Eliahu wasn't the only new rabbi. There were actually 11. And the women's section was filled with the wives, mothers and children of these young men. One young woman cried from emotion as her mother comforted her. Our family was just so excited, it was hard to quietly sit still.
How will the world change with another 11 rabbis? I guess we'll have to wait and see. But if they can embrace their fellow Jew, as did Avraham Avinu, answer his questions, encourage his belief in Hashem, and foster ahavat Yisrael (love for one's fellow Jew), then these rabbis will make a positive difference for the Jewish people both today and tomorrow.
Mazel tov to all the new rabbis and rebbetzins and their families. May they be blessed with the wisdom and ability to guide our people's future.
In the next few days, IY"H, I'll be uploading a video on "The Next Generation Rabbis" to http://www.voices-magazine.com/ . Please stay tuned.