Who Am I?

A question on multiple levels....

At one level, the answer is a simple, factual recitation. I am Rabbi Joe Blair. I serve  Beth El Congregation in Harrisonburg, VA as rabbi, educator, spiritual leader, religious expert, instructor, legal decisor, shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader for the community), shaliach (emissary and representative), pastor, counselor, and etc. [whatever needs doing, including cleaning, I often find]. ;-)

At another level, I am the sum of my experiences, and therefore a product of my past. That makes me a graduate of U. Va., William & Mary, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; a computer consultant, an attorney, a rabbi, an engineer, an educator, a writer and an editor; a son, sibling, uncle, cousin, husband, and father; and many other things.

At yet another level, I am a part and a product of my upbringing, faith, and community. Raised in a Jewish home by Jewish parents and a Jewish family, with Jewish experiences and education, steeped in Jewish tradition, heritage, history, religion, and ways of thinking.

And on a different level, I am a human being, like all human beings, created by the divine Creator, having the spark or breath of the divine within me, and formed to be able to strive towards the divine and serve as a partner with G-d in perfecting and completing the world.

A question fraught with many meanings, and therefore many possible answers, this by no means exhausts what could be said.

For now, however, it will have to do!

Shalom uvrakhah!

Rabbi Joe Blair