Enough Love to Go Around

by Rabbi Ilene Bogosian, May 1, 2015

A few years ago, at about this time of year, I wandered into the lobby of the synagogue where I was serving as interim rabbi. That morning their search committee had introduced the new permanent rabbi to the congregation for the first time. Hours later, the excitement of that encounter was still bubbling through the halls. As I approached two congregants lounging near the gift shop, I overheard one say to the other “I just love Rabbi X. He is just perfect for us.” Then she spotted me approaching and stopped in the middle of a sentence. “Oh Rabbi – I’m so sorry. I don’t want to hurt your feelings. You know we are going to miss you!” “Don’t worry,” I replied. “There is enough love to go around!”

This is a season of change. We are in the middle of the period of the Counting of the Omer. Starting on the second day of Passover, our tradition counts off fifty days between the festivals of Passover and Shavuot. Last month we celebrated our ancestors release from slavery to freedom. Now we are, as it were, crossing the Reed Sea, counting the days between Egypt and our acceptance of the Torah of responsibility for the quality of our lives and relationships. We are wandering freely in the wilderness of uncertainly about the future. It will be the responsibility of each and every one of you to shape that future. As you undertake that challenge, I would like to recommend that love be the guiding force as you transition into the next phase of community life at Solel Congregation.

Some of you already know that I am about to begin a transition of my own. I will be saying goodbye to all of you during the next month or so while getting ready to move to my next interim assignment. Saying goodbye is the hardest part of my work. I will certainly miss all of you. But I know that I’m leaving you in very good hands.

Between now and the end of June, I hope that we will have the conversations we need to have to say goodbye to each other. As some of you have already heard, I will be serving a congregation in Dayton, Ohio next year. Although I will no longer be your rabbi after June, I will be checking in with Rabbi Pollack from time to time to see how you are faring together.

Shalom v’ahavah,

Rabbi Ilene Bogosian


Filed under: Rabbi's Message

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