As I depart on my sabbatical, remember that our community remains strong by virtue of the support and loving care of its members. Those who undertake certain rabbinic responsibilities in my absence are brave volunteers who have stepped forward to lead in synagogue life, so I ask you to support them in the ways that they have chosen to lead.
Encourage those who will be leading services, giving divrei torah, and making pastoral calls as volunteers by being present for all those who are participating; don’t stay away from services simply because your traditional leadership team is not fully present.
Those on the bimah, from Cantor Martin to our volunteers, need your support, and those in the hospital should know that our volunteers who will visit them are their because they truly care about other members of the congregation.
Remember that our community is a holy place, and that sacred things take place here.
Be gentle with one another, always.
Use direct and humane communication if things don’t always go in the way you’d like.
Don’t sit and stew, and don’t make too much of a fuss.
We’re only human, like that insurance commercial reminds us.
Remember the words of Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav: The whole world is only a narrow bridge, and the main thing to remember is never to be afraid.
--Rabbi Jonathan Biatch