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June 18, 2024 - 12 sivan 5784

06/18/2024 04:00:56 PM


A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven: 

A year ago, we were ready to become acquainted. In the interim, Shabbat and Yom Tov, week by week we have come to share the blessing of community, the hope of a better future. 

For each day, I have been grateful.

A time for birthing and a time for dying,
A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted; 

A time for slaying and a time for healing,

The events of the Year 5784 are many, significant, and only partly resolved. Life has brought blessings, relief from suffering, and bittersweet memories. A planted meditation garden has been renewed; new ideas have been taken into view…too many innocents have been lost. The work of grief and recovery are on-going.

To each person, each family that has welcomed me in their hour of vulnerability, and time of crisis, my thanks for your generosity of spirit.

A time for tearing down and a time for building up; 

A time for weeping and a time for laughing,
A time for wailing and a time for dancing; 

Change in life is nearly inevitable. Decades of congregational life for CBI were tested and even torn by the pandemic, in the crisis of January 15, 2022, through the departure of a long-term spiritual leader. The next chapter remains a work in progress, in whose accomplishment my role has been small.

To the leaders, officers, and co-workers for the strength of CBI, I am indebted for their support, questions, suggestions and guidance. May safe hands continue the work from strength to strength.

A time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
A time for embracing and a time for shunning embraces; 

A time for seeking and a time for losing,
A time for keeping and a time for discarding; 

A time for ripping and a time for sewing,
A time for silence and a time for speaking; 

A time for loving and a time for hating;
A time for war and a time for peace.
[Based on the text of Ecclesiastes 3].

The years ahead will continue to challenge the Jewish community everywhere. Changes in viewpoint, alternate means of reaching goals and courage in the face of unanticipated obstacles are all likely. Some will find the changes overwhelming—they need extra help to stay the course. Others will come forward unexpectedly—they are to be encouraged and aided not to be overwhelmed by their own enthusiasm. 

The elusive goal of peace will be the challenge of the next period. Not alone the absence of strife, not alone the sense of unity that comes when all raise a unified voice in prayer and song; the quest for personal calm, serenity and enduring hope are the essence from which all begins.

May the years ahead see congregation and community grow in unity of purpose, generosity of spirit and aspirations of leading the greater community to good by example.

Many thanks, and L’hit-ra’ot—so long for now.

A special note for all interested in Congregational life:

In each of the past two years, Congregation Beth Israel has been on a quest to restore the usual order of its life, disrupted through watershed events since 2020. The moment has arrived for the membership—as stakeholders—to opt in to the arrival of a settled rabbi for the coming years. It is a decision of great significance, the goal of the program called Interim Rabbi it has been my privilege to play a role in.

Election as Rabbi of a congregation—even for a limited term—is an enormous honor. It has been my good fortune to have been elected last year for a one-year term as your Interim Rabbi. At your upcoming Annual Meeting, the election of a Rabbi is on the agenda. It comes as a capstone of my purpose in coming to CBI, to Colleyville and to Tarrant County.

Choose well that the ru’ach—spirit—of CBI might thrive, and with new Rabbinic leadership, all may go from strength to strength.

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784