Rabbi Daniel Korobkin was born in California. His father was an entertainment lawyer with clients such as the enormous metal band, Megadeth. Daniel’s mother is a Survivor who at 6 years old was on the Kinder-transport.
Daniel was a fine thinker then, and an even better one now. He loves nothing more than to develop complex ideas which he can impart to others, simplistically. Daniel received his Master of Arts degree in medieval Jewish and Islamic thought from UCLA’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and his Master of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins UniversitySchool for Engineering at the Applied Physics Laboratory.
About a decade ago Rabbi Korobkin came to Toronto to step into the position of rabbi at Beth Avraham Yoseph Synagogue – one of the largest Orthodox Shuls in North America. While it took awhile to learn his way around the very big edifice, and around the membership, he ultimately took the community by storm with his fierce passion for learning, teaching and caring for his congregants.
What I really liked about schmoozing with Rabbi Korobkin was being with a man, a Jewish leader,who is courageous. He accepts the fact there are more than just Orthodox Jews within the Jewish family and in his own way he embraces them. He tells the Jewish man who is a homosexual and not accepted by the community, ‘you are special and they don’t know you like I know you. You hold your head high.’ He’s a man who is prepared to take the shots from other leaders, knowing he’s doing the right thing.
In essence, Rabbi Korobkin subscribes to King Solomons’s statement that, “there is no such thing as doing good and doing no evil.” And he believes, like a great (mussar) Rabbi of the 19th century, ‘ you can lock yourself in a closet and you’ll never do anything wrong but, you’ll never do anything good either.
And what I respected about the man is his well developed sense of unity. This statement he made during our interview says is best: “If we would only recognize the value in each and every Jew, what each person brings to the table no matter how different they are from us, we would have a much greater nation, a homogeneous nation that is made up of diverse parts. We would really bring redemption right away.”
This is Rabbi Daniel Korobkin. He is a bright, compassionate human being, a lover of the Jewish people and Israel, and a man who embraces all Jews and all of person-kind.
Thanks to Howard Pasternack for his post-production on this show and every other we’ve done. And a hearty ‘way to go’ to David Nefesh for his blues song, ‘In the Hat‘.
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