January 2018 / Sh’vat 5778
A Pre-Sabbatical Message from Rabbi Greyber
Next Tuesday, January 30th, I will begin a three-month sabbatical which extends through April 30th, 2018. As that date approaches, I wanted to offer some thoughts on where we’ve been and where we’re heading.
As my sabbatical approaches, I feel many things. I feel gratitude to our community and our leadership and our staff for this opportunity to renew and recharge. I feel excitement at some of the goals I’ve set for myself: to complete an Olympic distance triathlon with Team-in-Training while raising money to fight leukemia; to visit family, to teach, to read, to write, to travel. I feel anxiety, not only because the community I love is in the midst of so much change, but also because I care about each of you. As much as I want and need this time away, I feel incredibly honored and blessed to be a part of your lives through joy and sorrow, and I worry that I may miss being there for one of you in a time of need. I ask your forgiveness in advance if that happens.
Given the many congregational transitions currently underway, Beth El’s leadership and I have agreed that I will be more “in touch” during this period than is typical during rabbinic sabbaticals. When I am in town, I will be available in case of a congregational death, and I am planning to be “on the bimah” on February 10th and March 10th. I will periodically (every week or two) check and make brief replies to emails, primarily to Beth El’s leadership and staff. Otherwise, my away reply will read:
I’m on sabbatical and not checking this email account until April 30th.
In case of a life cycle emergency
Please contact the head of Beth El’s Chevra Kaddisha, David Klapper, on his cell phone at 919-270-1621.
For Pastoral Issues
If you need to try to schedule something involving me after my sabbatical, you can contact Sheri (see above). She can look in my calendar and give you a preliminary answer as to whether a certain date and time might be or is not available and, if it is, she can tentatively schedule it “to be confirmed” when I return in May.
Jewish Learning / Divrei Torah
In addition to making pastoral calls, Rabbi Fox will also teach monthly Lunch & Learn, weekly classes after Wednesday morning minyan and steward our community through the Purim and Passover holidays. On Shabbat mornings, Beth El is filled with an incredible array of rabbis and scholars who have volunteered to give divrei torah. The lineup includes: Professors Marc Brettler, Eric Meyers, Jack Sasson, Rabbis Frank Fischer, Jerry Fox, and Michael Giser, and Beth El EC members Debbie Goldstein and Rachel Galanter.
Shabbat at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church (TAPC)
As you know, during my sabbatical, Shabbat services will continue to be held at TAPC, a community that has shown us extraordinary hospitality. They greeted us on the street as we walked with the Torahs toward the church, welcomed us to their Fellowship Hall with a mezuzah, and have gone out of their way to help us feel at home. Last Shabbat was a great beginning as our voices filled the chapel with a ruach filled Kabbalat Shabbat, we enjoyed a tasty community Shabbat dinner, and enjoyed learning throughout Shabbat with our scholar-in-residence, Professor Benjamin Sommer. Rabbi Sager settled into a new room for Mishnah study, our b’nei mitzvah students found places to study and then sat together in the front left section of seats, kids wandered the spacious halls and, by the time the day was over, everyone seemed to feel very much at home.
One of the things that makes our community so special is…questions! So, naturally, some questions came up about turning on lights and how we’ll get into the building. You can read below what the questions were and what our practice will be during our stay at TAPC.
L’hitra’ot / See you again soon!
Beth El has an amazing staff. Thank you to Nancy Luberoff, who has jumped into her role with calm and competence and leadership, and in whom I have tremendous confidence to keep things humming in the next three months. Thank you to Elisabeth, Sheri, Averyl, Sandy & Jim, Rachel, Lamont and Yoni for endless hours of love and devotion. Ours is an amazing community. Welcoming. Diverse. Committed to one another, to Israel and the Jewish people, to the world. We are strong, gifted with so many people of so many talents. I look forward to this time away, and I look forward to an exciting and important future together. Until May…
L’hitra’ot / להתראות / See you again soon!
Rabbi Daniel Greyber