Stoughton Rabbi Reflects During His Bar Mitzvah Year 2009: Jon Hausman

Stoughton rabbi reflects during his Bar Mitzvah year

Jon Hausman does not always give people answers.
He listens. It’s a piece of “fatherly advice” the self-described “old enough” rabbi received from a congregant during his first year at the helm of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton. After a really tough day, he sat down with the late Dick Rosenberg, a congregant who had been instrumental in getting a generation of lay-leadership involved in the congregation. “We just want to feel that there’s someone listening (to us),” Hausman said, recalling the exchange. “It was the most important thing anybody told me,” he said. “As a rabbi, you get to see people when they’re at the height of their joy and at the lowest points of sadness of their life. For the most part, they’re not looking for someone to give an answer, just to listen.” But it was in a different venue that he first started to listen early on in his career &ndash in a courtroom. Hausman was trained as a lawyer, specializing in insurance defense and labor relations.
But he doesn’t believe it took a giant leap from his interest in the law to the rabbinic pulpit. Judaism, like the law, is based on parameters in which to live one’s life. It’s not a coincidence, he said that a lot of American common law comes from a Jewish context.

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