Embracing Change

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Rabbi Yitzhak, March/April 2011

Our world and our lives are constantly transforming, constantly changing. The current political upheaval in Egypt and the broader Middle East shows how dramatically within a short time, a nation and an entire region of the world can transform.

We are constantly witnesses and participants in the ongoing process of responding to and creating newly emerging realities. While change occurs on a grand and global scale, the changes in our lives generally requiring our greatest share of attention often take place within the more intimate sphere of family and community.

Our TBI community is now in a dynamic process of significant change. On a personal level, I am experiencing many deep and mixed emotions as my dear friend and colleague for the past seven years, Rabbi Maurice, will soon be leaving his rabbinic post at TBI. Accompanied by our heartfelt love and blessings, Rabbi Maurice will be moving forward on his life path together with his and our beloved Melissa and their children, Clarice and Hunter. While I will greatly miss the joy and fulfillment of working with Rabbi Maurice, I am consoled by the fact that this precious family will continue to be members within our congregation. I know that I speak for our entire community in saying, “May they be blessed for all of the depth of goodness that they have brought to our congregation and community over these past seven years and may they continue to thrive in good health with abundant blessings, fulfilling the goodness of the yearnings of their hearts.”

While moving through this threshold of change, our congregation is also engaged in the process of seeking to hire an Associate Rabbi to join our staff. We will continue to cultivate a strong and vital program that builds upon the progress made in past years. Naturally, we are hopeful as we meet with the fine candidates who have applied for this position.

Times of significant change and transition can be challenging. Our tradition recognizes the unique challenge of change and transitions through a simple, widely practiced tradition. The placement of a mezuzah on our doorpost, our point of transition, is a reminder to cultivate our faith in an overriding Unity even as we move across thresholds of change. We can too easily forget our faith during points of challenging life transitions and become susceptible to feelings of fragmentation. The Sh’ma, Judaism’s central declaration of faith in a Unity of All, is placed within the mezuzah to serve as a reminder as we move from one place to another, from one stage of life to another. The word mezuzah is derived from the root word zuz – move. Life is a constant unfolding, an endless flow of movement and change. Our spiritual task is to remember our faith in the Unity of All. In doing so, we can greet the flow of life’s changes with a quiet inward and even sweetly joyful faith.