“Look, just to be clear, this has been great. And I want to see you again. But I also need you to understand I’m seeing other people,” I said. This was never an easy conversation. “I just want you to understand, I want to learn Torah with you, but you have to understand I study with other rabbis, too,” I told my newest rabbi.
Since graduating college, I’ve studied with multiple rabbis, sometimes at the same time. A lot of people might warn you that getting multiple opinions can be misleading, allowing you to get too many answers and basically play Choose Your Own Adventure with Judaism. I would not like to think of myself as one of those people.
Back in my senior year of college, my friend Rebecca and I began what we deemed our “Shabbat Tour of 2011,” where we went to a different shul every week and experienced services. I was much less religious at the time, but really enjoyed checking out different shuls and styles of services. Three years later, after becoming Shomer Shabbos, I now spend Shabbat at various shuls every week, on yet another tour. And I would have to say, these last six months of “touring” again have been the most enriching of my entire life. New friends, new lessons, and new ways to connect those two things always make my weeks better.
This was especially clear to me this past Shabbat, one that I spent with the rabbi from my childhood day camp. He is a man I credit with getting me involved deeply with Judaism, and spending the Shabbat with him (and my family, who live close by) was such a lively experience. I saw how things had changed since I was a kid at a shul from my childhood, and also realized how much I still have to learn (people of great wisdom have a way of making you see that).
A lot of my blogs try to tie other issues into dating subjects. Not this week. Quite the opposite, actually. A lot of people can see multiple people comfortably from a dating perspective. I am not one of those people. But when it comes to making myself happier, I can think of no better way than by learning with multiple rabbis (or multiple spiritual techniques in general) and learning what clicks for me. This Valentine’s Day, a lot of people are going to be wishing they had someone, and hopefully you’re checking out JDate. In the meantime however, I encourage you to try some variety in your spiritual life, too, and hope you can find some of the joy I’ve found in seeing multiple rabbis.