On my way to my second full day of Chaplain Pastoral Education (CPE), I realized I needed to get some gas. While pumping gas I was wearing my chaplain intern badge and my kippah, which made me think about the badges I wear and have worn in my life. It made me smile and think about how sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.
As a chaplain I will wear a badge, and a beeper and a kippah. At times I will be on call, and will have to stay overnight at the hospital. I flashed back to another time in my life where I was required to wear and to do most of the same things listed above. In my twenties I was a military police investigator, I had a badge, and a beeper. At times I was required to be on call, I spent several nights sleeping at the police station but this time around I won’t have to carry a weapon; I think my kippah is a good replacement for a gun.
When I finished pumping I went into the Shell Gas Station. Inside the station there was Indian music playing in the background and the cashier was of Indian descent with a very thick Indian accent
She said to me, pointing at the top of her head “How do you keep that on your head.” I smiled, it was refreshing to hear that type of question, instead of the others I usually here. I told her I had clips which helped to keep in place. She said again pointing to her head “What if you have no hair. How does it stay in place. The men come in here all the time, they have no hair and I wonder, how does it stay on their head?” I told her I didn’t know and that it just stays on. As we parted she again pointed to her head and told me that she liked mine, referring to my favorite watermelon Kippah.
As I start this journey of my rabbinic formation it’s fitting that this week’s Torah portion contains the priestly blessing. A blessing for well being, sustenance and peace
May God bless you and keep you. May God smile upon you and be gracious with you. May God look with favor upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26)