Rabbinic Thoughts: Stay a Bit Later

I want to share a short vignette of last night. I sat at our Executive Board meeting which went long (I mean that in a good way). We spoke about the synagogue’s present and future. After the meeting I stayed with a younger congregant for another half hour until it got past 9:15pm and he still had a 20 minute drive home.

On my drive home (much less than his) I thought about the evening, not as much the content, but about this man’s dedication to our synagogue. I thought of all the rabbis and experts who say synagogue life is dead. I chuckled a bit. As long as there are men and women willing to stay up until 9:30pm on a week night so 10 years from now our synagogues are healthier; we are going to be just fine. Tell me other organizations that have that type of commitment? That their policies and procedures will impact generations to come, lift spirits and dedicate their lives to a better community. He stayed not for himself, but for his community.

My message this week before Shabbat is stop pointing at all the things not working; in synagogues or in life. Pause and cherish the things that are doing great, in particular the people and ideas who force us to be better. Invest in your communities by making them structurally better for generations to come. I count my blessings every day that I have people in my life who push me and my synagogue to be better. Make sure you stay a bit later, so you can be a bit better. Shabbat Shalom.