Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary

[This week's Haveil Havalim is here]

Today, the Sunday following Parshat Eikev, marks the one-year anniversary since I left the pulpit rabbinate. I'm still sorting out what that means to me.

I've had the chance to grow in many new directions this year; my knowledge base and writing skills are among the beneficiaries of the switch. I'm learning more about management, as well; in shul life I learned a great deal about administration, but I have received a real education in the difference between organizational administration and personnel management.

Distance has helped me look at the shul rabbinate in a new light, too. I'm better able to distinguish between elements of the rabbinate as a whole, and elements of the pulpits I held.

I still miss many aspects of shul life - shul life in general, and the lives of the shuls I served in particular. I miss the personal connections, most of all. The way that a shiur was not only an educational experience, but also a relationship. As I meet more people here and deepen my connections, I'm starting to build those relationships, but the framework is very different.

I miss the comprehensive communal role. The sense that I was serving others more, and myself less. I might blog about this more over the next few days; we'll see.

For now, it's off to Israel. We board our flight in just a few minutes, Gd-willing...

One thing is for sure - We could never have taken a trip like this, getting away for this period of time and without 100 different on-going community/personal issues to track, in the shul rabbinate.

Okay, I can admit it: I miss that.

But I'll take advantage for now.


  1. Be safe my friend and enjoy your trip.

  2. Speaking of taking trips, this article comes to mind:

    Fits in well to your post on vacations and the rabbinate:

    And Speaking of vacation, enjoy Israel!

  3. Jack, Mrs. S-

    Yes, a friend shared that with me. I've written about Rabbinic Burnout a couple of times, but I owe the topic another post. The time-off idea they mention there is part of the solution, but it's a much larger issue.