Here we are, just barely into summer, and already the center of activity in the synagogue office has begun to gravitate to the High Holy Days. The packets asking you to let us know about your plans have been prepared and distributed so that we can organize the resources of the synagogue to serve you at that sacred time of year. And then we all hope to get to the beach or a picnic or a ball game.
It is an interesting juxtaposition. Independence and dependence. Rights and responsibilities. Freedom and commandments. Food and fast. E pluribus Unum and Adonai Echad. The administrative needs of our institution actually bring to the forefront the parallel worlds we inhabit. In one, we have complete and ultimate autonomy, except as we collectively choose otherwise. In the other, we acknowledge the complete and ultimate Authority, except as we individually choose otherwise.
Thank God for August...we have time to sort things out!
Of course our collective concern this year will be about the stability of the synagogue. Between the current economic realities and the growing trend of independent Jewish collectives, we are all wondering what will become of the Agudas Achims of the world. Itís not a new situation Ė the chavurah movement of the 70ís came during a recession, and many of the same questions were asked. The synagogues that thrived during and afterward were those open to growing into the new understandings of community. They benefited from the energy of innovation and the commit of tradition. They nurtured you or your parents or your children.
In the end, those two sets of concerns did not change. How we addressed them began to shift, subtly at first and then profoundly. We have been open to the new and protective of the old, the way Jewish life has always tried to be. As uncertain as things may sometimes feel these days, there is no better time to be a part of our community. There is no better time to make a difference for yourself and others.
Enjoy the summer. The Holy Days are not far behind!
Welcome to Joshua Rabin, our rabbinic intern for the summer. Josh will be a part of our congregation through mid-August and will get to know you from the bima, the classroom and personal interaction. But sure to reach out to him (and his wife, Yael Hammerman, who will join him later in July) and remember to introduce yourself each time!
THIS MONTHíS BIG QUESTION
for the 5770/2009 High Holy Day Reflection Booklet
#8 What should we sacrifice to change the world?
Answers should be 250 words or less.
Indicate the question number, sign your name,
and send your answers to this address:
It will not be published unless you request otherwise.