conversation · OBSERVATIONS · slice of life

Running into the Rabbi

Isabelle’s new spot IN the shopping cart. (She thinks she’s too big to sit on the top and I think she’s too young to be trusted to walk beside me in the store.)

Isabelle accompanied me to the grocery store when we got home from our long weekend in CT/NY/NJ.  We were three-quarters of the way finished with our food shopping when we ran into our rabbi on one of the aisles.  He gave Isabelle a huge wave as soon as she saw him.  We stopped and chatted for a few minutes.

At one point, Isabelle asked him, “Why are you here?”  I chuckled.  I knew what she was thinking (even though she’s seen him at Giant in the past).  It’s the same thing kids wonder when they see their teachers out in public.

But her line of questioning continued after we said our good-byes and continued on to the dairy aisle.

“Why is the Rabbi here?”

“Because he needs to buy food.”

“Does the Rabbi have a house?”


“At the synagogue?”

“No.  He lives on XXXXXX Street.”

“Is that near the synagogue?”

“Yes. I’ll show you his house next time we drive by.”

“How do you know where he lives?

“Daddy and I ate dinner with his wife there once.”

“He eats food there?”


“But why is he here?”

“At Giant?”


“Rabbis need to eat too.”

And on and on it went as we gathered everything on the dairy aisle. The questions finally ended when we reached the checkout counter and Isabelle assumed the task of unloading the cart, from the inside, on to the belt.

I wonder what kinds of questions she’d ask if we ran into him at Hersheypark!


11 thoughts on “Running into the Rabbi

  1. Funny! I once had a story to tell about seeing a moose on my way to school. I started by saying, “I saw a moose on my way to work!” and one of the grade 3 students said, “Oh, Miss, where do you work?” She, and the others, were shocked to learn to teaching them was my job. “You mean you get paid to come here?” It was so funny! I thought that by 8 years old kids would get this!

  2. Yup, just like running into our students at the grocery store. Sometimes the kids I run into are shy, and peek at me while clinging to mom, as though two worlds are about to collide. Sometimes they run up to me and I an=m sure to explain to their parent who I am. It is fun and interesting to see the different ways kids react to seeing someone familiar, out of context.

    1. We are SO lucky to have our Rabbi. He has grandkids of his own and just GETS kids. Once Isabelle ran onto the bimah (essentially the stage where the clergy worships from) and sat down right next to him in the middle of the service. I was DYING, but he was fine with it, allowing her to sit next to him as long as she wanted.

  3. So funny to hear her questions. Does he eat food there? I remember when I taught first grade & I would run into a student at the store. They would hide behind their mothers & peek out at me, even when we were so close at school. Outside I was someone they didn’t know very well.

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