Pirkei Avot, Day 5

This phrase has been used a lot within our community during these past few months. We sang it in shireinu, we’ve discussed it in our mussar class, we shared its message during Shabbat. This message, now more than ever, serves as our cheerleader, encouraging us to keep going. There’s a lot of work to be done as individuals, communities, our country, and our world. And for the first time in my lifetime, we’re faced with all of it at once.

If you haven’t noticed, people are starting to lose it. Some of US are starting to lose it. And when I say lose it, I mean that we have gotten off course. We’ve strayed from who we know ourselves to be. For those of us who have, I want to remind you that you can get back on. You may need to just take some time for yourself and disconnect, whether from the news, social media, or even difficult conversations. You need a breather.

For those of us who feel like we’re on course and everyone around us is losing it, we have to remind ourselves that these are some difficult times and people are struggling internally. I had to give myself that talk today. Rather than getting upset with every person or leader (our school principal) who is acting completely out of character from who I once knew them to be, I had to remind myself that this is them at their most stressed, lost, and confused. Call it compassion. Call it understanding. But ultimately I was giving myself a gift. The gift of not getting lost with everyone else.

There’s a lot of work to be done and although we are not tasked with completing it (what is complete anyway?) we are not to disengage from participating in it. And when I say work I mean any work that is involved in healing yourself and healing the world we live in. In whatever capacity. I know we have moments where we want to give up. Those are the moments we take a break. And once we are refreshed and renewed we go right back into it. Shabbat is a great opportunity for that.

If anyone is feeling lost, please reach out to me. It can be easy to find ourselves there and my main purpose as your Rabbi right now is to keep you connected and awake.

I love you all!

Rabbi Gabi