Rabbi Elizabeth S. Wood

Rabbi Elizabeth S. Wood
Celebrating Havdallah

Friday, July 9, 2010

Times they are a changin'

I can't help but think about beginnings and endings this week. At sundown we begin Shabbat, the end of one week. Friday is also the beginning of the weekend - when we can stop, relax, rejoice, and take some time for ourselves (hopefully). I'm also thinking about so many colleagues (newly ordained or otherwise) who started their new jobs this week. My replacement began work this week as I am beginning to wind down and end my job. My life is cluttered - my house is full of boxes and everything is everywhere. I'm having to start transferring all neccessary things to a new part of the country and mentally reorganize my life to be in New York starting next month. Yes, lots of beginnings and lots of endings.

Truth be told, I've never been good at transitions. I work through them just fine, but I hate feeling as though things are unsettled. I hate the goodbyes, and I hate the sense that I have to leave somewhere, even if I am going off to turn my dreams into reality. But at times like this, I have to remember how neccessary some transitions are in life. In order to go forward, we must actually put our foot out and step forward - scary or uncertain as that step may be.

God said to Avram (Abraham) "Lech Lecha" - go forth. Even though Abraham did not know what this meant, or where this would take him, he went forth anyway. Abraham trusted in God, and trusted in himself to muster up the courage and put one foot in front of the other. So, too, have I tried to muster up that courage and go forth in my career and my life. But by going forth, it always means we must leave something behind as well.

This Shabbat, I'm trying not to focus too much on the difficulty of transitions, but on the notion of beginnings and endings. There is a sense of holiness in every new endeavor we begin and in every place that we leave. I have to really start thinking about the relationships I've created, the community I've contributed to, and the ways in which I've grown. I also have to remember that I have new and exciting adventures coming my way - who knows who/what might be right around the next corner, waiting for me?

Whether you are in the middle, at the end, or just starting, I wish you continued success on your own life's journey. And I hope that each of you finds holiness and peace where you are, at this very moment, on that journey.
Shabbat Shalom!

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