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Rock Me Momma

The last act of our spirited talent show highlighted six North Carolina rabbis singing, Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker. With guitars, ukuleles and egg shakers and a cute drummer, these multi-denominational rabbis faked their southern accents in blue-grass style.

So rock me momma like a wagon wheel

Rock me momma any way you feel

Hey momma rock me

Rock me momma like the wind and the rain

Rock me momma like a south bound train

Hey momma rock me

Seventy five country-wide Rabbis Without Borders, (a fellowship think tank created by CLAL) attended our annual retreat at the Pearlstone Conference Center, and on the last night we went beyond Jewish and shared our other passions: music, poetry, prose, and comedy.

I believe we became rabbis for three reasons: to usher in meaningful conversations, to deepen our own Jewish learning and heritage, and to offer opportunities for the spiritual in day to day life.

As I sat in the pews swaying to this choral chiming, I felt an intimate sense of belonging to this rabbinic group. Our work can be dangerous, solitary, demanding and emotional. We are tossed into a sea of apathetic communities or belligerent congregants. Our talents are suppressed while we subdue our passions.

But here in this room of ardent artists, we expanded into our best selves: humorous, fun-loving, gifted and wild.

“Those are my people.” I thought. “They are singing my song.”

After singing several soulful stanzas, the audible music stopped, but my inner wagon wheel kept turning and yearning for more.


Rabbi Tamara Miller

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