The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar
By the Power Vested in Me
By Jack H Bloom
Routledge – 2002 – 356 pages
The solution to the growing problem of stress and burnout in rabbis!
Written by a practicing clinical psychologist who spent 10 years as a congregational rabbi, The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar: By the Power Vested in Me presents positive solutions to the inevitable negative effects of symbolic exemplarhood, coaching rabbis through dilemmas of the inner soul. Being a rabbi means serving as a Symbolic Exemplar of the best that is in humankind, being experienced and treated and expected to act as a stand-in for God, and a walking, talking symbol of all that Jewish tradition represents. The burden of being a symbolic exemplar of God is extraordinary, and the struggle to live up to its requirements can be one of loneliness, frustration, and despair, alienating rabbis who tire of living in a glass house.
The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar examines how the symbolic role that serves as the source of the rabbi’s authority and power can lead to disillusionment and disenchantment. Author Jack H Bloom draws on his own experience as a rabbi who watched the successful career he enjoyed turn into one he desperately wanted to forsake and how he was inspired to become an athletic coach for rabbis. This unique book details how symbolic exemplarhood is created, what its downside is, what power it offers, how it can be used effectively, how rabbis can deal with their inner lives, and what can be done to help rabbis stay human while maintaining their leadership.
The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar is equally effective as a complete text or as a source of stand-alone chapters on specific topics, including:
Visit the author’s website at http://jackhbloom.com