“To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn.” These words from Ecclesiastes describe not only the changes of seasons, the passages of one year to the next, but also the passings of one life, one generation and one Jewish way of life to the next. Its phrasing also suggests that nothing is fixed, everything changes, and old comfortable ways will be knocked awry by external events that are outside of our control….and that we will adapt and that we will find ourselves in a new season and that we will discover and settle into new comfortable ways.
In so many ways, we are in the midst of changing seasons now, individually and as a Temple. You, as our community, have tasked us, as your spiritual and lay leaders, to navigate this change and we cannot thank you enough for the confidence and faith that you have placed in us. Everything we do now involves reimagining, reshaping, trimming and adapting our old ways into new ways, sometimes moment by moment, and doing what we have always done as Jews – creating different ideas of community, seeking the symbols and the “important things” and adjusting for the new realities in which we live. Fortunately, we have had over 2,000 years of practice.
In these changing times – we, individually, have two choices: to unmoor, or to step in and step up. I hope that each of you will redouble your connection and commitment to Temple Shalom and Reform Judaism, as we seek new expressions of Judaism and community together in these times of change.
In the midst of so many changes this season, I’d like to offer you the priestly blessing from our Torah:
May God bless you and protect you!
May God’s light always shine upon you and be gracious to you!
May God favour you and grant you peace.
Rabbi Allan Finkel