Humans of Beth Am Blog

Rabbi Adam Kligfeld

Who am I? I am, in no particular order, a person who thrills to speak publicly, and who is nervous every time. A rabbi who models religious belief and practice who yet toils in achieving internal peace in both—and thus thinks that teaching that very grappling is one of the best things I can teach about Judaism.

I am a former triathlete trying to muster his way back into racing shape, who considers his Sunday AM bike-ride with some very special TBA friends and folks to be one of the most sacred parts of his week. I am a human who cannot help but go for seconds or thirds at a sushi buffet, and almost always regrets it afterwards! I am a Yankee fan who very likely could not have considered a move to the West Coast were it not in an era where I could stream the games live on my computer or device.

I am a person who feels incredibly blessed in his life, in his portion, in the combination of earned and un-earned joys and beauties that surround me, and yet remain someone who struggles to fully internalize and live by the wisdom of the Pirkei Avot teaching that counsels that true wealth is being truly contented with one's lot. I live by and through the Torah, which does not mean I don't question its provenance or its absolute meaning. But I learned from my mentors, and try to teach to my students, that every moment in the rabbinate, and in life, can be enriched and elevated when filtered through the words and images of our sacred tradition. I marvel at our tradition's depth and uncanny ability to prove itself to be relevant even through its presumably most archaic sections.

I am a mortal who struggles with mortality. I love being alive and want to fill my life with as many moments of meaning-making, exploration, adventure and also serenity as possible. Life is short. The challenges are endless. The world is expansive. There is something to marvel at every day, especially if you go out and look.