Rabbi Moshe Rube

Rabbi Moshe Rube started his life in the hills of San Diego. His father, in pursuit of residency and fellowships, moved around the USA, giving our rabbi a firsthand Jewish education in San Diego, Detroit, Cincinnati, and New York. While still young, Rabbi Moshe developed an interest in voice and music after hearing a Chazzan chant the Selichos and from his zaidy, a cantor in his own right. He studied Music in Yeshiva University and chose to integrate his musical studies with his Jewish studies by getting a Master’s in Music Education while studying for his ordination at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

But he didn’t just spend all his time studying. He once again got to travel around the USA, this time as a rabbi and community fellow in places like New Orleans, Stamford (Connecticut), Palo Alto, and many more. So it’s no surprise that after 7 years of studying in Manhattan, Rabbi Moshe moved down to Birmingham, Alabama, ready for a change of scenery and community. He has a special connection to the South as his Bobi (the wife of the Zeidy mentioned above) grew up in the South and married when the Zeidy came to town on a cantorial job.

 

What does Rabbi Moshe hope for in KI and Birmingham? What’s his vision for Judaism here?

The vision that I have and believe we all share definitely includes us coming together always to support each other, take care of each other, and greet everyone we see with a smile and friendly greeting. To make a place where kids, young adults, adults and seniors feel welcome and wanted. A place where every person of any disposition or religious level can find his unique portal of entry to Judaism.

Do you have any thoughts or goals for KI and Birmingham specifically?

That’s a good question, and the answer can never be set and will evolve over time. It also depends on the people of the community, their attitudes and personalities, not just my thoughts and opinions. But I will give a general outlook to get you thinking.

As Jews in an Orthodox institution, we commit to following Halacha in our communal policy (which, during my tenure, will be from the teachers at University and the Orthodox Union). But within that structure, a plethora of options and creativity abound. Imagine a Jewish life at KI that integrates the best aspects of the Southern way of life with the norms and timeless values of our Torah. Every place has its own flavor that makes their Jewish way of life unique. Our ancestors from Europe will testify that the Jewish way of life in Poland had many differences from the way Jews practiced in Lithuania and they practiced differently from the way German Jewry practiced. Same halachic structure but decorated with a unique flair.

This question has always captured my interest. I’ve explored and am still exploring this question as it relates to integrating the serious study of music and Torah, and how musical growth/participation can be synonymous with Jewish growth if done in the right way.

Within Knesseth Israel and Birmingham there exists something special for the Jewish community in Alabama, the USA, and worldwide. Exploring what gives us our unique flair will be a journey that I look forward to taking with all of you (Sorry: y’all).

The community is a discovery in process. Any final words you want to share?

The core of the community consists of the people in it so I look forward to getting to know you all (y’all) personally. And for those reading who want to take a vacation down here, feel free to stop by so we can show you how we do our Southern hospitality Jewish style.

 

You can reach Rabbi Rube at  mrubered at yahoo dot com.

Thu, October 19 2017 29 Tishrei 5778