When you receive this SHOFAR, I will be away on a one-month sabbatical.
This being my 7th year at TBT, I can see the wisdom of the Torah, which teaches that the 7th year is a time for taking stock. While most sabbaticals are typically several months long, the Board and I are in full agreement that given the very full schedule of events at the synagogue, it is best to break up any sabbatical time into smaller parts. I therefore will be spending this month of February on sabbatical.
My best fantasy is to use the time for “R & R” – that is, READING and Relaxation. I have a book list that would take longer than a month but I am so grateful to have the time to dive in. Most of my reading list will serve to enrich my Adult Education teaching, and I would particularly invite you to consider, if you haven’t yet done so, enrolling for the April segment of my year-long Hartman Institute Course in “Jewish Values and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.”
If you can’t take the course, you might want to join in a couple of the reading assignments: ISRAEL: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis, and Once Upon A Country by Sari Nusseibeh – to get just one important Israeli view and one important Palestinian view of the conflict.
Before I leave for sabbatical, my most important priority is to assure coverage for the congregation during the time that I will be away. Cantor Stanton and I have been meeting and going over all the details. He will be in charge of all clergy needs and I am glad to say, as you have seen in the past 7 months now, how very capable he is. I know he is ready and eager to step forward to cover for the month and I thank him deeply for that.
Of course, leading our congregation is a team effort and so I also want to thank our Administrator, Kim Romine, who loves our temple second-to-none, and cares for it constantly, always with zest and gusto. Administrative Assistant Bonnie Mahon is also stepping up and making sure that everything is seamless, as always.
I thank TBT President Jeff Babbin and the Board of Directors who have supported my having some time for spiritual replenishment. I want to assure you too that I am only a phone call away and that Jeff, the Cantor and the staff will be able to reach me if need be.
The months go by quickly; I am sure that I will be back in what will seem like a flash. At the same time, I hope something of this sabbatical will last forever.
Todah Rabbah – and see you in March, Rabbi