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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  (rabbi@adathisraelsf.org) has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


With Rosh Hashanah just two weeks away Iā€™d like to share with you an interesting story from Rabbi Ben Blech. He writes:

"Some years ago I received an amazing invitation. A group known as the Gathering of Titans, comprised of 100 CEOs of major corporations in America, annually get together at a retreat ā€“ in this case at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ā€“ to discuss issues relevant to their business practices and to hear from prominent experts in various aspects of corporate management. As part of their program, they asked if I could come and lecture as well.

Stunned, I asked what role I could possibly play. I have no business expertise. My rabbinic background hardly qualifies me to teach these titans of industry how to improve their corporate bottom line.

'We understand that,' they countered. 'That's not why we want you to address us. We all know how to make money. But more and more of us have come to recognize that in the process of making ourselves very wealthy we've impoverished ourselves spiritually. We want to know what a religious leader such as yourself can suggest for us to feel greater meaning and purpose to our lives.'

So I shared with the Gathering of Titans a concept they were very familiar with in their corporate world and asked them to integrate it into their personal lives as well.

Every major company prepares a mission statement. It is a short and succinct summary of what they hope to accomplish as well as the ideals that motivate them. Imagine if we had similar clarity about personal goals and how we plan to achieve them. Imagine if we took our personal mission statement as seriously as a business manifesto. Imagine if we took the time to decide why God put us here on earth and then went ahead and fulfilled our life's purpose. In short, imagine if we had a strategy for the way in which we lead our lives. After all, making a success of our lives is as important as making a success of our businessesā€.

Great Story. As we approach 5775, I think we should all be working on our personal strategy for Jewish living.