Rabbi Gad Romang from Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Catharines spoke to us om the subject of “What it is like to be a Rabbi in today’s world”.
Rabbi Romang, who was born in Argentina, moved to Israel when he was five and has been a Rabbi for 30 years and has lived in five countries. Before coming to St. Catharines he was Dean of Jewish Studies at the American Hebrew Academy in North Carolina.
Rabbi Romang said that he didn’t feel a call from God to enter his profession but rather was deeply impacted by stories of the Holocaust. His own grandparents died in the Nazi camps and the story of a teacher who was a survivor of the camps but held his brother as he died had a huge impact on him. He said that he determined that he must do something to keep the memory of family alive and remind people of what happened in the Holocaust.
He said a second reason for becoming a rabbi was that he belongs to a tradition that goes back 4,000 years to Abraham and Sarah and he feels a responsibility to maintain the link with the past and the future.
Rabbi Romang said that he is grateful for what he has received and wants to provide for future generations. He added that the most important thing is to live life now.
The Jewish Precepts are a way of life and Rabbi Romang said he feels it is his responsibility to maintain those traditions.
In closing he suggested the most important commandment is that we have to try to make this a better world.