Welcome! I am Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of Madison, Wisconsin. "Pulpit Perspectives: My Observations as a Congregational Rabbi" is published every two weeks to reflect my observations about life in my congregation and with my members. The opinions expressed here are solely my own. I invite you to join the dialogue!

Monday, October 17, 2011

On the Nature of What Moves People

I love my congregants. They’re interested, they’re attentive, and they have passions that I am only beginning to learn about. It is a pleasure to hear them and to work with them.

For example, regarding my High Holy Day sermons: Each one has received reactions, and they’re basically positive ones! Oh, yes, there is some disagreement over my assessment of the Obama administration’s strong support for Israel, but in fact, I have received upbeat reactions to both the messages that I delivered and the services overall.

I have received the majority of comments about my sermon on mental health and mental illness, and my call for an ongoing Temple-based support group for congregants who are mentally ill and their families. I have received offers of help from at least ten members who, for various reasons, expressed the hope to be involved in some way.

Knowing what I know about them, each of them has either a personal or professional connection to the area of mental health and mental illness, and all are willing to be helpful. That says a lot about them, and it also bespeaks a need that we can fulfill. So an agenda is set for the future. And if you’re a member of Temple Beth El, and you are reading these words, please contact me to get involved.

May we all have a wonderful and productive New Year of 5772!

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