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Sabbatical: Context and gratitude

My friends,

This week’s Torah reading describes the Sabbatical year, offering rejuvenation akin to the Sabbath day. Every seventh year,  the Bible commands, the land is to lie fallow (Leviticus 25:2-7; 26:34-35; Exodus 23:10-12). Both the farmer and the land itself would rest. In that light, this coming year is a shared opportunity for renewal and fresh perspective. I am grateful to you for allowing me to serve CBI for these past three decades and look forward to a final stretch of service marked by vigor, creativity, and abiding relationships.

Starting in October, I will begin my fourth Sabbatical at CBI, marking my 30th year. Each of my Sabbaticals has had a different feel, combining study, travel, and family time. This Sabbatical, Linda and I will go it alone, marking a new phase in our lives. Linda and I are still finalizing our plans, which will combine time in Israel, Jewish research, world travel, and volunteer opportunities.

I will take leave precisely while our synagogue is flourishing, anticipating that our combined energies and fresh insights will enhance our community upon my return. I am working with CBI leadership to prepare a detailed plan that will include visiting colleagues and the increased participation of our talented professional staff and constituents. CBI will both thrive and grow with creativity during my Sabbatical. While away I do hope to share insights of our Torah and the text of the open road.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your spiritual leader. We are a vibrant community because of our partnership. Just this month we are featured as the cover story in an online magazine of United Synagogue. Please consider reading http://pacsw.uscj.org/new/ and feel the joy of what we are accomplishing together.

Your rabbi, Elie