Monday, July 16, 2012

Out of Work. Again.

Out of Work. Again.

Wisdom House, the interfaith program I ran at Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville has been closed, and once again I am without a job. I was raised to believe that you are what you earn, and when you aren’t earning you aren’t living. While I know this to be false, I also carry the echo of it in my head. So this is a harrowing time for me.

I only have two skills: writing and talking; and I have only three things I like to write and talk about: Judaism, the Bible, and spirituality. So my options for personally meaningful work are quite limited. I can, and will if I have to, apply for work at Wal-Mart, but I would rather not. I figure I can hold out for a couple of months before “Hi, welcome to Wal–Mart” becomes my new mantra. In the meantime I will try to figure out what’s next.

This means, I suspect, learning how to do more on the Internet. I can travel only so many days a month, and airport life is taking a terrible toll on me physically and emotionally. I’m writing this as I sit stranded in Philly waiting for USAir to figure out what’s wrong with the airplane that is supposed to fly me to Buffalo. Sitting here eating junk food and fantasizing about murdering screaming babies and smug airline employees is not good for the soul.

I’m thinking about creating my own Spiritual Direction training program. I did a Jewish version of this once before, and it is still going strong, though I have nothing to do with it. This new one will be spiritual but not religious. I’m also toying with the idea of creating an on-line Bible study course (Hebrew and Greek Bibles) that would focus on the wisdom of the Bible outside the confines of any institutional religious frame. And there is my One Foot Judaism effort to recast Judaism as a path of compassion. And there is Holy Rascals, my film effort, and the only one of these ideas that actually exists ( So there is no thought that I will be board, only the ceaseless worry that I will be broke.

I’ll let you know what I end up doing. In the meantime, if you know anyone in upper management at Wal-Mart let me know.


Unknown said...

Rami,I am sad to hear this news. I'll keep good thoughts for you!

Unknown said...

Well, you know the old saying "we are where we are, exactly where we need to be, in order to take the next step" - all the best your way. - Ron

Charles Kinnaird said...

Forgive me for finding a bright spot in your unemployment, but I did not know until this post about Holy Rascals! I went right to the site to see what it was about. Then I went straightway to the video with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi talking about Psalm 23. THEN, while watching and listening to the Rabbi, I hear my favorite musical rendition of the psalm from Bobby McFerrin. This is a great discovery on my part!

Now back to your part, I'm sorry to hear about Wisdom House closing - I had hoped to make it up there one day. I really hope things turn around for you as you look for other avenues. I like the idea of your starting your own spiritual direction program. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for you in the blogosphere and at Spirituality & Health.

Mr. Townley said...

I am sorry to hear about you employment situation. As I was reading other posts

I had the idea - this should be a warning as it is possibly a little crazy - to suggest you post your employability skills on Google Circles publically to network - in a very big way - and see what comes of this.

All the best on your journey.


The Right to Write said...

So Sorry to hear this. You are a man of unique insights and you have many things to say about transforming Judaism that I believe are valuable contributions. Whatever happens next, I hope this will continue to be your path. We really need rabbis like you.

Unknown said...

For completely selfish reasons I am extremely sad to hear this. If I can do anything to help, please let me know. I'm willing to make a down payment on that Bible class!

Barry said...

I'm sorry for your stress. You'll figure out where you should be next,, and you'll go there.

Judy Olson said...

At this stage in your life, it is a good time to find a job that you will not have to leave, i.e. it's time to work for yourself! You'll never have a better boss.

AaronHerschel said...

I think you are being punished by God. You must have displeased him in some way, and you should immediately repent and beg forgiveness. Perhaps by writing a book repudiating everything you've ever said about Him.

Now please excuse me, I need to take shelter from the very large whirlwind that suddenly seems to be heading this way.

AaronHerschel said...

Er.... the above comment was a joke, in reference to Job. Please don't misunderstand!