Rabbinic Thoughts: Slow Down

This past weekend I taught for my grandfather, did a baby naming for a cousin and performed a wedding for a wonderful couple. However, this week told a very different story. I mourned with several families in our community. Lost a member I cherished and learned of a man whose loss will undoubtably impact his family’s lives forever.

The rabbinate is an emotional roller coaster that never really stops. On top of the lifecycles we planned new programs for youth and adults, fundraised, helped a family seeking asylum, went to minyan, worked with a Bnai Mitzvah student, booked a speaker and so on. I posted on my sports website, released a YouTube show and taught my Pirkei Avot class. I made sure I found time to take my girls to Menchies and Target to buy gifts for those in need.

Ultimately, I love what I do. I love the people. I love the action. I love the community and flexibility. But I also hold all of this responsibility with the understanding that if I do my job well it creates better lives for those around me; congregants, community and family.

After all that has happened this week I need Shabbat. Excited to celebrate a Shabbat regular’s 92nd Birthday, hear from young congregants giving the sermon, listen to Rabbi Miller drash, and play soccer with our kids after Kiddish. I hope that people, friends and family alike, go to services this week. Even if you consider yourself a two-time a year Jew. I hope this week you go. Not necessarily for God or your family or even for my request. Go for yourself. Find respite and clarity. Say hi to someone you haven’t seen in a while. Kindly challenge your Rabbi or Cantor to bring out more sincerity during services. I know I need the pause this week. Join me in slowing down and ensuring you can become better prepared to get back on the ride next week.

Shabbat Shalom!