613 Seconds With Rabbi Daniel Rose

Rabbi Daniel Rose, Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Baltimore and am very glad to have spent almost my entire life here. My wife, Yocheved, and I have seven children, ka”h, between the ages of 15 and 2.  Before becoming the Rabbi at BJSZ, I served as the assistant rabbi for ten years under Rabbi Moshe Hauer. I have also written for Artscroll’s Mishnah Elucidated, served as the director of Jewish Hospice Services for Seasons Hospice and have also written a book called Building Eternity: A New Perspective on the Meaning of Marriage.

Have you always wanted to be a rabbi?

At a certain point in my days in yeshiva, I understood that the role played by rabbonim is uniquely special. What makes the rabbanus special is not just the opportunity to answer shailos or to teach torah. It is the chance to make Hashem and His Torah a meaningful part of people’s everyday lives — their challenges, their simchas, their growth and their dreams. 

Where were you educated?

Having grown up in Baltimore, I am a proud alumnus of TA, after which I spent many years at Yeshivas Ner Yisrael. It is a special privilege to serve as a rav here in the community where I grew up. Having been given so much by Baltimore, its rebbeim and its institutions, it is a zechus to be able to give something back.

What is the history of Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion?

A very long and proud one. The two shuls — Bnai Jacob and Shaarei Zion — were each founded over one hundred years ago. They have both contributed a great deal to the development of the Baltimore frum community. A little more than twenty years ago, under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Hauer, these two shul merged to create the magnificent shul we have today.

BJSZ is famous for being a family shul. How have you achieved this?

We place great value on making the shul a place where all our members of all ages feel at home. We offer shiurim and programs that are geared towards all ages, from our very active youth programming to our shiurim to our special events geared toward the different demographics of men and women within the shul. And we make it a point to include members of all age in our shul leadership and in our davening. As one example, we had an event this past Chanukah where this was on full display. One of our social halls was geared toward children, with special activities and entertainment, while the neighboring social hall was for adults, with a delicious Chanukah menu and a chance to enjoy spending time together. The energy and the feelings of togetherness were palpable.

What is a typical day like in the rabbinate?

There is no such thing as a typical day in the rabbanus. But the common theme of everything is being engaged with people and helping them to grow, to succeed and to fill their lives with the beauty of Torah and its guidance. Any given day might involve meeting with people, preparing programs for the shul, attending a simcha or the opposite, responding to sheilos in halacha or hashkafa or general advice, giving shiurim and learning with individuals, working on communal issues, and being prepared for the inevitable surprises. Rabbanim bring Torah to life, and life is always changing. But every day I can make a difference is a zechus.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

On Sunday and Monday, January 2-3, BJSZ will be holding its annual matching campaign. This is a vital source of funding for the shul to continue to do everything it does for the greater Baltimore community. The campaign is in conjunction with our annual dinner, celebrating the installation of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Rose as the leaders of one of Baltimore’s largest community Shuls, which will be held on Motzei Shabbos January 15. Please contribute and/or make reservations for the dinner at bjszdinner.com. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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