By the Grace of G‑d

Match day 5778 ~ 2018


Dear Fourth Years,

Tamar and I are at once nervous, and yet deeply confident, that you will match in a program that will help you achieve your full potential.

What's in a name? Names have so much behind them. We have our individual name, our nickname, the name our closest friends call us and the name our mother uses when we know we're in trouble. There’s a form of our name on formal envelopes and a list of titles in our bio when we give a lecture.

But what is really our name?

In this week's Torah portion God calls to Moses to enter the Tabernacle, and interestingly, the missive has no name.

Very soon, your name will get an upgrade. Each year it is an emotional task when I go through my list and add the title doctor to all the graduating students. There is so much depth behind that two letter change - but in many ways, today is greater.

There are two times where names are not necessary, and both of them are represented in the calling to Moses, and in your match today.

Action needs no name. If a patient needs a bandage or a pack of ice, it's irrelevant who does it. A simple: please bandage the patient, will do.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are parts of us that can never be named. What does a parent call their child when they lay eyes on them for the very first time? What does a couple married for 60 years call each other?

When God Called to Moses, it was nameless because it was both mundane, as well as sublime. It was both a simple request for Moses to enter the tent - as well as a deeply intimate yearning, parent to child, separated for 2449 years, reuniting.

These two nameless parts are connected.

Deep in our Essence, in our nameless self, what is most pertinent is simply what we do - The small actions that we affect and make a difference for others.

While all of humanity has some of this, your lives, and specifically this moment, personifies this.

Who are you? This morning that is unknown. Not just a title, but even a location, a job, and for some even the specific field. The blank sealed envelope is not nameless because it does not describe you, on the contrary, it is you.

Who are you? Not the address you will live, nor the hospital you will work in. Not even the field of your training. Today personifies who you are: You are here to help.

With warmth and wishes for a truly successful match.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Zalman and Tamar