As I prepare to take my sabbatical I wish to express a few words of thanks and blessing to the Shomrei community.
First, I thank the Shomrei leaders, last year and this year, who worked with me in conceiving and implementing a plan for my sabbatical. I especially wish to single out our Past President, Fern Henig and her committee, and our current President, Sara Ann Erichson, and the Sabbatical Committee, co-chaired by Geoff Sadow and Dan Winter. The Shomrei Board has been thoughtful and supportive throughout this whole process, as they always are in tackling all matters that affect our congregation.
And I also want to thank so many of you who have communicated your hopes and good wishes for this new adventure that I and Zelda (- and Kasha, too!) are undertaking.
The Shomrei community is a richly diverse collection of people with different needs, desires and visions. We unite in our sacred commitment to building a strong and meaningful Jewish community. It is a great privilege for me to serve each of you and to serve the community as a whole. I take this privilege very seriously and it is because of this that I welcome this sabbatical as a gift – to study Torah and recharge my batteries in a sustained way.
Our Sabbatical Committee has organized, with the generous input of many volunteers, a full array of offerings. Our Shomrei staff, the guest rabbis and the visiting scholars all will be providing wonderful teaching, activities, events and support during these next five months. I hope everyone will find this time as enriching and invigorating as I hope it will be for me and my family.
The name and concept of “sabbatical” come from the holy institution of Shabbat – the Sabbath. Our tradition teaches that the blessings of Shabbat extend throughout all of time and space, well beyond the specific time and place it is observed. May we all be blessed with the life enhancing energy of Shabbat!
In that spirit I look forward to returning in June to resume my active participation in the ongoing journey of Congregation Shomrei Emunah.
Shalom u-l’hitra’ot – Peace, and see you soon!