Rabbi Leder's Shabbat Message - February 3, 2023

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  • Shabbat
Rabbi Leder's Shabbat Message - February 3, 2023

By now, many of you have learned of my plan to step aside as Senior Rabbi on August 31, 2024 and then remain a part of the Temple’s rabbinical team on a more limited basis for an additional two years. Many of you want to know, why?

Because I care so much about our beloved Temple and I want only what is best for the community, even if that means leaping into the unknown.   

Because I miss my family. I have worked 48 weeks and 48 weekends a year for 37 years. Not long ago, talking over dinner with an exhausted friend who is a single parent, without anger or drama Betsy matter-of-factly said, “I was a single parent.”   I felt that moment very deeply.

Because I want to re-pot myself and strive toward the sun when I am young enough to enjoy the fruit of new growth.

Because one can only carry so much for so many for so long.

Because despite my fear of poverty from childhood until this very day, money should never be the reason to remain a leader of the Jewish people.

Because anything can happen. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at seventy-five. I will step down at sixty-four.

Because many rabbis step down in a time of institutional or personal failure. It is far better to seek new leadership at a time when a synagogue is strong and at peace.

Because I trust in our staff and leadership with all my heart.         

Because I really love you. Someday, I will not have the stamina to serve you as you deserve to be served and half measures have never been my way.

Because I am unspeakably proud of what we have done together.

Because we have come so far together.

Because we will journey on together for the rest of our lives; just differently, lighter, with greater ease and time for laughter and love.

Because Kafka was right when he said, “The meaning of life is that it ends.”

Because Ecclesiastes was right too:

Generations come and generations go,

    but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun sets,

    and hurries back to where it rises.

The wind blows to the south

    and turns to the north;

round and round it goes,

    ever returning on its course.

All streams flow into the sea,

    yet the sea is never full.

To the place the streams come from,

    there they return again.

Love and Shabbat shalom,