Comfortable and relaxed, it is Memorial Day, and I’m soaring high above the clouds. Hayley and I are returning from a family simcha, a cousin’s wedding in Atlanta. It was a rare, complete weekend off without our children, and as I write, we are comfortably and
quietly savoring our fleeting moments of relaxation (even as flying for many people is just the opposite experience). The beverage cart has just revived me with a fresh cup of coffee and peanuts, and I stare out the window into the expanse of the sky.
As I do so, one word comes to mind, “change.” And then, a few related mantras pop up like little thought bubbles. “Come gather round people wherever you roam…oh the times they are a changing.” “Change is inevitable and sometimes hard.” “The only real constant in life is change.” These all ring true on several levels, and make me think back to my cousin’s wedding yesterday. I learned a new and beautiful insight on the seven circles that a bride makes around her groom before they approach the huppa, which forever changes their lives. These circles can represent seven levels or spheres of love, which we hope to ascend over time with our loving partners. Similarly, several levels or spheres of change encircle us.
In time, we are moving in seasons, shifting from Spring to Summer, and from the SF Sunset sunshine to more and imminent fog. In Jewish time we are already moving to the very early approach this year of Rosh Hashana 5774 on September 4.
In our community, we honor the valuable service of our immediate past President, Pete Gleichenhaus, and we celebrate and our honor our new President, Bonnie Lindauer. We are grateful for her steadfast dedication to B’nai Emunah, and look forward to her inspiring leadership. A new and exciting “you tube” video, which captures the essence of our welcoming and friendly community, is currently in production and will soon be released for our website. And, our new sustainability task force is currently studying the demographic details of our community life with an eye towards exploring visions and models for our future together. We are hard at work, asking essential questions like, “Where do we want our community to be in 3, 5 and 10 years, and, how do we get there?”
Looking again out the window, now down upon the mountains of Utah, a line of graffiti I remember well from my time of living in Jerusalem, crosses my mind. “We don’t need eyes to truly see, but rather, vision.”
In our Jewish lives, we sit in our homes, and we walk upon our ways, and in these spiritual postures it can be helpful to ask these very same questions. “Where do we want to be in 3, 5 and 10 years, and, how do we get there?” We live our day to day lives on the ground, but often it can be helpful to get away, whether it’s a walk or hike, a drive, or a flight 18,000 feet above the ground. Each trip holds the potential to be an opportunity for a fresh perspective. In our day to day we can sometimes lose the forest for the trees, but when we take time for visioning, then we not only get a chance to see the forest, but we soar high above the clouds
Rabbi Mark Melamut