JWR Schticks and groans

Jewish World Review Dec. 31, 1998 / 12 Teves, 5759

Toward rabbinic survival

By Rabbi Bob Alper

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE CARTOONS, an old "Wizard of Id", depicts a minister on his pulpit, proclaiming in several frames, "Love thine enemy!" "Love one another!" "Love is the way!" And in the final illustration, as he greets people at the door, heís thinking: "This is the part I hate the most."

I actually enjoy receiving lines and the opportunity to converse one-one-one with faces in the pews. Like most clergy, I encountered some troublesome moments early in my career, but quickly developed the skills required to ensure a pleasurable experience. For the sake of my younger colleagues, I am happy to share some of these indispensable techniques.