I write to you this week as we approach the end of a very busy few months. Very soon we will all celebrate Shavuot, marking the official end of our education sessions at Temple Israel until the Fall, and we will begin our quiet summer, wherein we rest, take a break from the hustle and bustle, and even perhaps when your rabbi takes a vacation. This past Sunday, I stood in front of many of you at the congregation’s annual meeting, another auspicious event signaling to us the fast-approaching end of the fiscal year. I have to say, I was genuinely impressed with the number of congregants who attended this important meeting, as so many synagogues and temples around the country struggle to get a quorum at the annual meetings in which major changes and announcements are made. So many of you listened to the leadership about the work they had done over the past year to make this congregation better, altering the constitution, updating the laws, and swearing in a new generation of lay leaders to carry on the positive work of so many before them. As a rabbi, with no vote, I get to calmly look around the room at my sacred partners, sit back and watch the wheels turn and the system improve, remembering the words of Pirkei Avot, 2:21: “You are not obligated to complete the work, nor are you free to desist from it.”
Each generation of board members, committee members, and congregation members are obligated to continue the work, helping to improve the synagogue, inside and out, without the thought of reaching a “finish line.” Our sages remind us that we may never achieve perfection in our lifetime, but that nonetheless the pursuit of it and work towards it is a holy task. I wish to thank this year’s board and leadership for guiding me into the community of Temple Israel this year, and I truly look forward to sitting with the new administration and all that we can achieve together.
Mazel tov to all of you at Temple Israel for the success you have achieved and earned; this is truly an exciting time to be a part of our community!