Thursday, December 6, 2012

47 days

One November, back when I was a shul rabbi, a tzedakah collector commented to me that 'my time' was running out. He explained that after Chanukah people embark upon December vacations, and then winter sends snowbirds to warmer climates and renders others homebound. That's followed by Purim, then Pesach, and then people's minds enter summer vacation mode until Rosh HaShanah. Thus, he explained, a rabbi's main 'season' is in the seven-to-eight weeks between Succot and Chanukah.

That interesting observation, coupled with the imminent arrival of Chanukah, has led me to assess the accomplishments of our YU / Torah miTzion Beit Midrash here in Toronto since Succot. Working from class registration lists - which don't tell the whole story, naturally, but which do offer some data - I looked at the types of classes we offer, and the turnout for the classes. I am thrilled to say that we have been blessed by G-d with tremendous success in the first 47 days of our "season".

In truth, I have qualms about this sort of statistical study; true success is in the quality of relationships and in the quality of learning, not in a tally of class attendees. Imagine a rabbi who gauged his success by the number of seats occupied in shul, or the number of people he visited in the hospital, without pausing to consider what those people were receiving from their shul experience or from those visits! Nonetheless, in my pride in the accomplishments of our avreichim, as well as in the response of our Toronto Jewish community, here is an amateur video I have made from that study.

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