Being a Torah Observant Follower of Messiah Yeshua isn’t easy and calls for great fortitude and maturity.
What a Rabbi is Looking for in a Disciple
What does a Rav or a Rabbi look for in a talmid (disciple)? How educated he is? How wealthy he is? What can he bring to the “team”? No, he is looks or cares for none of those things. Then what does he look for, what makes a good talmid?
Now I may get MAJOR backlash for this, but it’s true and it needs to be said and some people need to wake up to who they really are, not who they are self deceived into thinking they are. I suppose the backlash will reveal the very ones this criteria speaks of. I’m gonna get a little Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a little Judge Judy on ya. This isn’t a nice blog, so if you’re easily offended, stop reading now, if I hear from you and you are angry and verbally blasting me, I know you are one of the ones that shouldn’t have read this. So the balls in your court. This is for people SERIOUS about being not only a talmid of a Rabbi, but a Talmid of Yeshua THE RABBI of RABBI’S! I pray this is a healthy dose of what they call “tough love.”
So what does he look for, what makes a good talmid?
1. HUMILITY: To realize the fact that he knows just enough to know that he knows nothing. And that what he knows is due to G-d’s grace. That he is wise enough to know that he has a deadly sword but he needs to learn how to wield it, and until then he knows enough to keep it sheathed so no one gets needlessly hurt. I am speaking of two things here, the Scriptures and the tongue; both are likened unto a sword in the Word. The thing a Rabbi hates the most is a talmid with a loose tongue. Mostly the kind that calls to sit on your couch for a therapy session and you can’t get a word in edgewise! A talmid who doesn’t know his place and who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. The Rabbi doesn’t mind question. Judaism is all about questions. I’m talking about arrogant challenges made to look like questions and the talmid attempts to teach the Rabbi his own Judaism! He may think he is showing off to the Rabbi his knowledge, but mistakenly he is only showing his ignorance. This is a selfish “plank-eyed” know-it-all and not a selfless blank slate. The Rabbi, much like the L-RD wants a submissive moldable mound of clay. He can take and wants to take talmidim who feel they have a calling but he can do without those whose calling they’ve developed into a preconceived, mapped out, etched in stone vision. Those students are not clay but sandstone and when you attempt to etch something on them they break and crumble irreparably to dust. The Rabbi has no need or time for such so called students.
2. TEACHABILITY: An open mind, a willingness to be challenged and learn. A student who actually wants to have his beliefs challenged and his wig flipped back. Again, the moldable clay is required, not frail sandstone.
3. ZEALOUSNESS: But the controlled zealousness, like stones around a blazing campfire. An eager absorbing, sponge-like creature who wont show off, but is willing to listen and obey regardless if what’s required sounds off the wall or illogical. The Rabbinate is not the military but sort of… Remember the movie Forrest Gump? He was the most dimwitted guy in his platoon but praised as a genius by his drill sergeant. Why? Because he, with zeal and without question did what the drill sergeant asked.
4. SELF SUFFICENT: Now I think I’m going to get in trouble for this one, but a Rabbi has no use for needy, leachy cry babies and belly achers; Christian Pastors are willing to take those. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has wounds and needs and that’s okay, the talmid needs to be patient and trust that the Rabbi is aware of these things and like triage, those wounds will be treated and those needs will be met in their proper order and time. The Rabbi is not a drug or a fix, Go to the Messiah for that, the Rabbi is just a man and has no magic kabbalistic words or wand to wave over your baggage. There are two classes of people in the Rabbi’s circle of influence.
a. Talmidim whom he trains and they carry out his teachings.
b. Congregants, the regular lay people who attend his synagogue every week and hears him drash on the Torah. This party he teaches but does not personally train. The congregation is allowed and even expected to be needy, not the talmidim. How can the talmid ever be a Rabbi himself one day if he constantly needs his hand held or a skinned knee kissed?
5. LOYALTY: A Rabbi wants talmidim in it for the long haul, not fly by night, grab all you can and move on to the next spiritual guru. A talmid must be patient in dry spells or when the same things are taught over and over. There is a reason for it, its all for the end goal of fulfillment and edification so you can be the next Rabbi.
Like the five digits on a hand make that hand useful, so do these five qualities make an excellent talmid.
Do you meet these requirements? First off, are you ready to be a talmid of Yeshua? Secondly are you willing to be a talmid under one of His Rabbi’s?