This is a truism in all our lives: We grow up filled with dreams about where life will take us or, better yet, where we will take life. Some of our dreams come to fruition yet, sadly, others are dashed in painful ways. Henry David Thoreau says in the conclusion of his book Walden, in which he details his two-year experience living in his cabin near Walden Pond, "I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Rabbi Elan Babchuck reflects on his own dashed dreams and how they have taught him how to live a life with real meaning.
Rabbi Elan Babchuck decided to follow his passion and is now a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Providence. These days he drives a sensible, family sedan and loves nothing more than hitting the road and exploring the world with his wife Lizzie and their son Micah, who, significantly, is named after his late grandfather, Michael.