I am writing from my hotel room in Trenton, Michigan. This hotel has become a sort of second home as I will have spent roughly 20 nights here by the end of May. I have truly enjoyed working with Beth Isaac congregation, and although I will not miss the snow, I will miss this congregation when I move to a bi-weekly congregation next year. I have learned quite a lot working with this congregation, and I am thankful for that.
One of my closest friends, a rabbi in Atlanta, Georgia, Rabbi Bradley Levenberg, has been a great support these last couple of years. When I have been frustrated with the way things were or were not happening, he has often been there with a comforting word or hug to give me perspective and help remind me why I am on this journey to begin with. During our last year in Atlanta, before we moved to Israel, I remember something Brad told me. He suggested that there would be a point during my time at HUC where I would hit "rock bottom," and build myself back up to become the kind of rabbi he knew I was capable of being.
Truth is - I am not sure I believed him when he said it. After all, this has been a life dream of mine for many, many years. However, I totally understand now what he meant. This semester, as I have had less "homework," I have had more time to sit and reflect upon who I am, who I want to be, and what I need to accomplish to be that person, that kind of rabbi I know I am capable of being. I have also been able to think about what kind of rabbinate I want to have...and more importantly what I stand for. It is very hard to be a 32 (almost 33) year old rabbinical student with many classmates much younger than me. It is even harder to try and focus on all of the MANY things I need to focus on when the most important thing(s) are not even at HUC. Staying focused on Batya and Carlie has been hard, and I know I have made mistakes...but thank God I have a wonderfully forgiving wife who has helped me to grow and learn as this year has progressed.
So, there it is - I recognize that the most important thing is trying to stay on top of my schoolwork while being the best husband and Aba I can be. Thankfully, Carlie loves me no matter what...and I often wonder how Batya is so forgiving and wonderful. I only regret that my mother didn't have the opportunity to get to know Batya like I do. They may have been good friends...God knows these are the ONLY two women who really knew how to "put up with me." But, I digress! The important thing is that as I move forward in this HUC world, I am recognizing I have one of the greatest support teams ever, and I am working harder and harder to spend more time with them...
Oh, one other thing. Batya, Carlie and I joined the JCC back in July, 2008. I now have begun to utilize the gym. I am on a strict 3 day a week workout...30 minutes on a stationary bike, and about 13 other machines, working on every muscle in my arms, legs, and back. I hope to lose about 25 pounds and get back in the shape I should be. The workout is great because it truly enables me to work out some of the daily stress I find myself stressed out about.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday, and a great week!