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Summer Sabbatical

06/29/2021 02:11:59 PM


Summer is here. After fifteen long months of pandemic restrictions, many of us have plans to travel.  Some will travel to visit family and friends, and others will go places where we can soak up the beauty of mountains and beaches. I plan to spend much of my summer sabbatical in Seattle.  The Pacific Northwest is a place of sublime beauty and is home to many of my close family members and friends. 

I am used to feeling worn out at the beginning of the summer.  Travel to the Northwest has always helped to reenergize and inspire me for the year ahead.  Last year the pandemic upended my summer plans, so this year I need my summer sabbatical more than ever.  

These are the weeks in which I can study not only in preparation for teaching or preaching, but simply to grow as a rabbi.  I am grateful that our congregation and our leaders provide me this time, and that my clergy partners and so many in our congregation will do their part to keep our worship services and Torah study going strong in my absence.

I will use my summer sabbatical to continue to work on my writing, to delve deeper into my study of the Yiddish language, and to take an on-line course about ancient Jerusalem.  I also hope for long hikes in evergreen forests and tranquil moments watching waves crash against the rocks on the Oregon coast.  

The end of the book of Deuteronomy describes Moses’s oration as he prepares to depart from his people.  Our early rabbis interpret his statement as proof of a coming resurrection, a revival of body and spirit (Sanhedrin 90b).  May this summer bring for all of us renewal, growth, and many blessings.

Thu, June 30 2022 1 Tammuz 5782