Mitzvah Maker – Rabbi Fink

Mitzvah Maker - Rabbi Fink

http://finkorswim.com/

What is your blog about?
My blog is an extension of my real life. The things I write about are things that I am talking about with friends, family, members of my shul and fellow law students. Sometimes, the blog is a repository for podcasts of Torah classes I have taught or essays I have written. Other times, the blog is a place for social commentary on international, national, local or Jewish news. Once in a while I talk about sports or a great video I saw somewhere. Of course I also blog about my Shul’s events and post pictures and videos of those events. I have also blogged about legal issues I have studied in law school or read about in the news. In short, I blog about whatever I find interesting and think others may find interesting as well. I try to give people an opportunity to get to know me and we have built an online community together that takes the outreach of our shul out of the brick and mortar shul and into the digital world.

Why blog?
Blogging is very important. Back in the days of yore, the people who had a voice were big, powerful leaders who spoke to massive audiences. These individuals were rare and their reach was far. People with contrary opinions might have been able to express their opinions to their immediate social circle of friends but their audience was severely limited to the people who would listen to them. The digital era has completely shifted this paradigm. Now, anyone with a computer and an internet connection, or even a mobile smartphone has a voice. There are so many voices out there worth hearing and blogs give everyone a chance to speak. If people like what you say, your voice can travel very far. Comments on blogs are of even greater value because they give readers a chance to think critically about what they are reading and conversation can ensue. So long as the conversation is civil, a lot can be learned by discussing issues on a blog. The more people who have a voice, the better our society will be. In my opinion, critically thinking about everything we encounter in life is an imperative. Blogging forces the writer and reader to think about their opinions and the more we think, the greater we can be.

For me, there is an additional reason to blog. Our Shul is pretty famous, after all, it’s on the beach, yet, most people know nothing about the shul. Blogging gives potential shul visitors the opportunity to learn about the shul, the membership and the rabbi. People are often surprised that an orthodox Rabbi is blogging and so far it’s only been positive PR for our shul.

Any Favorite Blog Posts?
I don’t know about favorites, but here are 5 that give a good cross-section of what my blog is like:

Essay: What is Teshuva (repentance) and How Does It Work in Judaism?

Pacific Jewish Center Featured on MSNBC.com

The Real Orthoprax Issue

My Thoughts On The Aughts

Athletes as Role Models

What actor would play you in a movie about your life (and why)?
I have no idea how to answer this question. A good actor can take any role and make it his own. I would hope the actor playing me would be good enough to try to “be me”. Plus, I can only relate to actors in their roles, so I can only think of roles that I can think of playing me – not actors! But if anyone out there knows me, feel free to make suggestions.

Which biblical character would you like to be with on a deserted island?
King David. He’s got great stories – so we could shmooze for a long time. He can sing – so we’ll be entertained, he’s a great warrior – so probably a great hunter as well, and he’s the king – so someone will probably come looking for us.

You have to wander the desert for 40 years, what 3 things do you bring?
My family
iPhone with solar charger. It has everything, camera, books, Torah, music, etc
Legos

What type of apples do you eat with honey?
My favorite apples are golden delicious.

Any Rosh Hashana traditions that are special to your family?
We have the usual customs. Apple in honey, the simanim at the evening meals and the new fruit on the second night. All these customs are special to us!

What is the first thing you eat after Yom Kippur?
Starbucks Iced Frappucino and Entenmens Raspberry Twist. Then my family has the custom of enjoying a festive holiday meal with meat, so I have chicken soup with noodles.

Complete this sentence: Under the sukkah this year, I will ____…
…enjoy festive meals with my family, friends, and community.