Closing Benediction

Following is the text of fourth-year rabbinical student Avi Killip's closing benediction at Hebrew College's 88th Commencement exercises June 2, 2013.

The talmud tells us, when in doubt:

"Pook chazi mai ama devar."

Go out and see what the people are doing.

Pook: May you go out! 

Heed this rabbinic Lech-Lecha,
get out of here
and bring with you everything you’ve learned and can do! 

Bring with you all the ways that you have changed and grown.
Bring your learning, and your spirit.
Bring your insight and your humor.
Bring your creativity and your commitment to work hard. 

Chazi: See.
May you see the world outside these doors,

and may that Chazon — that vision — be inspiring and profound.
May you see with humility and empathy and hope.
May the presence of the Holy make your visions clear and attainable.

Mai ama devar: Go out, and see what the people are doing.
Remember that it’s not just about scholars in our beti midrash,
but about the people.
Go and see those people who are longing for meaningful Judaism, for connection to community.
See the people who are eager to pursue justice and those who are ready to pursue God.
And see also the people who have lost their way, those seekers who don’t know what they seek,
and those seekers who may have given up seeking altogether.

Pook chazi mai ama devar:
Go out and see what the people are doing.

Go out and be a part of those people, those communities,

serve them and honor them, 

push them deeper and lift them higher

Pook chazi mai ama devar
Kain Yehi Ratzon: So may it be God’s will.
You have dwelled in the beit midrash,
you are ready.
Now, go.


See complete coverage of Hebrew College's 88th commencement exercises.