Thursday, January 8, 2009

10 Reader's Comments from 2008

Happy New Year! Here are a selection of the many wonderful comments I received in 2008. Thanks for commenting everyone.

The Fly Fishing Rabbi

Comment on: Jew’s Don’t Fish?

Margie said…

You are so wrong! here in canada pretty much all the jewish kids go to summer camp, for seven weeks! everyone grows up knowing how to fish, build a bonfire, drive a boat, sail and waterski. there are very few jewish girls up here that are afraid to put a worm on a hook. nothing warms my heart more than a set of fake nails hooking a worm.

Comment on: Fishing for a Whale: The Story of Jonah

Gingerman said...

Another lesson from Jonah, and actually from all of the prophets, is "The sign of Johah." Which is no sign at all. Today, and in the past, we want credentials from the teller before we believe the truth he tells. The prophets enjoin us to test the truth wherever it comes from.

We tend to believe what's right rather than what's true. What is should be rather than what it is. In fly fishing, we have to learn that it's what the fish are taking that's important, not what we want them to take. Or what the experts say.

Comment on: Being Yourself

JB said...

Eric, This is beautiful; thank you.
I was reminded of a song lyric:
"How I am strong is to know what makes me weak", and also a little 'proverb' (using the term loosely) I heard for the first time recently:
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

Comment on: Incomplete Tasks

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Rabbi.

I just wanted to drop a note to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog entries, and particularly the recent reflections on incomplete tasks. Indeed, I do find comfort in knowing that our children will (with a lot of guidance and a little luck) continue building the family, fulfilling our aspirations, and goals, and of course, the strengthening the Jewish foundation.

Coincidentally, I recently made a futile attempt to introduce my wife and kids (7 and 4) to the Egg-Cake lady on Mott Street. I visited her many years ago and figured, like other favorites of mine including Moshe's Bakery, Yonah Shimmel, and Katz, she'd still be there serving those delightful cakes. Well, I'm now pleased to learn that her absence was a result of her achieving her goals, rather than being muscled out by another Starbucks!

Comments on: Why do you fly fish? Reader’s Interview

Why do you fly fish?

“As a pastor / caregiver . . . I find that I am "on call" a great deal of the time. Usually once every two weeks, I need to get away for 1-3 hours, to unwind my mind and my soul. Fishing has always been one of the "battery chargers" in my life. Fishing is my sabbath . When I am fishing, I feel as if God has all my attention.” Reverand Rick

“I fly fish because it is magical. There is no better feeling than standing on a lake shore or in a river early in the morning and feeling the world come alive.” John

Have you ever had a religious or spiritual moment while fly fishing?

“Night fishing for sea-trout in South Wales, where you start fishing once the bats start flying, typically around 10:30pm at night. Standing in a river in the dead of the night with no illumination other than the stars, and fishing by sound rather than by sight, both heightens the senses of the immediate environment as well as making you realise how tiny and insignificant we are in God’s great universe. The night passes, broken only by the occasional splash of what must surely be a monster fish. Those long hours give plenty of time for the mind to wander, contemplating matters great and small, public and personal. It’s only afterwards that your realize how little time we allow in our normal daily lives for quiet contemplation, and how beneficial, relaxing and spiritual it can be.” Dominic

Comment on: A Magic Fly Fishing Wand

Kenov said...

I sometimes find myself humming a warrior song that I learned as an ethnographer. Ultimately, though, I think that all of the magic on stream belongs to the trout, and to the Being who created them.

Sure enjoyed having you in Gettysburg. I look forward to further meetings.


Comment on: The Goldfish Toss and Aquariums

Steve Dobson said...

I have owned aquariums too or perhaps it was that they owned me. I tried everything from a scientific water analysis regimen all the way to a form of benign neglect. Each approach worked in its own way. Life is tenacious thriving to its own measure and in its own way often under extraordinary circumstances. You have a knack for showing us the extraordinary in the mundane Rabbi. Thanks.


Comment on: Crohn’s Disease and Empathy

Barbara said...

What a great post! one of my dearest friends has had Crohn's for about 12 years and is fully disabled, unable to get out of bed for days at a time and racked with pain.

Empathy is what separates pathological people (narcissists, sociopaths) from the rest of us. It is an important component that helps connect us to everyone around us.


Rick said...


Isn't it wonderful, how God gives us passions to pursue . . . and in doing so, we draw closer to God?

My daily blessings overwhelm me. I am honored my comment made your end of year list.

I appreciate you.

JB said...


I also am glad and honored that one of my comments made the list.

Don't think I've told you but your friendship and your blog inspired me to look up fly-fishing in this area. Unfortunately I don't think the climate is conducive. I guess I'll have to stick with running as my outlet and hobby that can serve as a life metaphor.

Happy 2009!

Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer said...

Thank you both, Rick and JB.

Its wonderful how you both spoke about the same idea, that we can find meaning in our passions, whether fly fishing, running or whatever gives us fulfillment.