Book Review from the 5 Towns Jewish Times

December 16th, 2016|

by Merle Turetz
July 2016

Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen certainly has a lot to talk about! And why not? Academically, he is an accomplished scholar, attorney, therapist and educator. Rabbinically, he is a Talmid Chachum, having studied with some of the greatest Torah minds in the world, as well as having served as Rabbi for the Young Israel of the West Side in Manhattan for almost a decade.

Regarding his family, he is a respectful and compassionate husband to his “best friend” and the proud and loving father of their five children, one of whom led him to become a special needs advocate.

In his new book, “We’re Almost There” Rabbi Cohen takes the reader on a journey of his life, with all its ups and downs, bumps and mountains, joys and disappointments. While each chapter reads like a random free-association journey through the Rabbi’s brain, there seems to be one connecting theme and that is to live fully in each moment and seek out the lessons placed before us by G-d.

There are no coincidences. Each chapter is filled with his emotional insights from Torah learning, as well as, day-to-day living. In a deeply personal and honest recounting, Rabbi Cohen relates his experiences meeting the most holy and scholarly men and women whose paths have crossed his, providing him with insight and wisdom. Yet, of all of these sage and learned encounters, there is none who has provided him with greater clarity and, brutally honest introspection, then his special needs son, Yedidya. In those moments throughout the book, the reader is totally hypnotized, completely drawn into the Rabbi’s vulnerability and cemented to the next line.

The book is beautifully written with stories that are sure to make a positive impact on the reader. There are people who live lives filled with wondrous and phenomenal experiences and often say they should record them on paper, but never make the commitment to follow through.

Rabbi Cohen, fortunately for us, made true on that promise so that those meaningful events can be a powerful lesson that life is not about the destination, but it is all about the journey. And what a journey, “We’re Almost There” is! “We’re Almost There” would make a wonderful gift to anyone facing a personal struggle in his or her life.

There is a saying that when the world hands you lemons, make lemonade. Rabbi Cohen, not only makes lemonade, he finds the inner strength to make lemon cake and lemon ices – then adds lemon polish to make everything shine again. Yasher Koach!

Reviews in Brief

November 22nd, 2016|

Book Review by Rabbi Gill Student
This article was featured in Jewish Action Fall 2016.

Rabbi Dovid Cohen is too young to write his memoirs. His book We’re Almost There: Living With Patience, Perseverance and Purpose uses reflections on his own life as a mirror to the challenges facing American Orthodox Jews today. He was a successful lawyer but, sadly, had trouble finding his match. Life as a single professional in New York comes with a unique set of doubts and fears. In a whirlwind story that features a pushy Israeli taxi driver, Rabbi Cohen finally finds his bashert. Then he and his wife have a special needs child, a challenge with its own joys and fears as they adjust their life to help their wonderful child succeed. Through his bachelorhood, marriage and fatherhood, along with a career change from law to the rabbinate, Rabbi Cohen, who currently serves as OU regional director of synagogues for Manhattan, Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut as well as director of community outreach for Yachad, offers a window into his emotions.

This is a very personal story, not just biographical but psychological and emotional—including the thoughts and feelings that accompany, and sometimes overwhelm, the author throughout his journey. Life is about relationships. When Rabbi Cohen is faced with a new challenge, such as speaking about a school shooting, he thinks about the emotions of his audience and relates to their concerns. As a rabbi in Manhattan, he perceives quite a bit of affluence and concern with status. But he also sees the kindness and charity, the honest desire to be good people. Rabbi Cohen’s messages throughout the book relate to the personal growth and experiences that we all encounter, and would do well to think about in more depth.

My Semicha – Revoked And Revitalized

March 23rd, 2016|

Op-ed in the Jewish Press by Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen.

My Semicha – Revoked And Revitalized: Observations From the Other Side of the Pulpit

The man informed me I was no longer a rabbi. His exact words were, “If you don’t have a pulpit, then you aren’t a rabbi.” I explained to him that I have many pulpits – that I travel throughout New York and beyond speaking on many weekends. He would hear none of it. No official pulpit position, not a rabbi in his book.

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