Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Would You Want Your Sons To Be Rabbis?

I'm neither a Rabbi, nor a Rabbi's son. Furthermore that statement has been true for as many generations of my family that I'm aware of.

In a recent blog post on Monomakhos  (highlighted in RealClearReligionGeorge Michalopulos, an Orthodox Christian layman, asked readers  whether or not they would want their sons to become Orthodox priests. Fr. John Peck, a well-known Orthodox priest, said he would not want his sons (Orthodox priests can marry) to follow in his footsteps. Another reader found that startling. Fr. Peck answered:

Joel, frankly, yes. I know how much suffering goes into the priesthood, often at the hands of fellow clergy and vicious parishioners. My sons have already endured a great deal of this. They’ve done their part – they do not need to feel obligated to follow daddy’s footsteps.
If they have a real calling, nothing will dissuade them. If not, they won’t have to worry about what I want them to do. ..
I do want to encourage young men who are discerning a vocation – not young men in general. As St. John Chrysostom puts it, the priesthood is forbidden to all women and most men. If a man has a vocation, I’m supportive. Ask the men in my parishes who are now clergy, or preparing for it. But they came in with their eyes wide open. In fact, I think it inspired them to know the reality up front.
In this case, I am speaking as a father, not a priest, and I’m allowed to have a father’s opinion on this

Some of the other responses on the blog show just how lonely and taxing a priests life can be, as he deals with both his congregation and the church. Following that post, Rod Dreher, writing in the The American Conservative, asked:

Anyway, what do you say? The priesthood (or ordained ministry, either within Christianity or another religion) as a vocation for your son, or daughter? Why or why not?

And so I ask those readers of this blog who are Rabbis or have ever seriously considered to be rabbis - Would you want your own children to be Rabbis? 

(answers can be anonymous)

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