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[KE CyberTorah] Sabbatical


I will be away on sabbatical from Dec 28th-March 14th. This is the second half of a five month sabbatical the congregation has so generously offered me from my previous contract. I had put it off until after we entered the new building because it didn’t seem feasible to be away while we were in transition.

The first half of my sabbatical was incredibly renewing for me. I journaled almost every day which helped me do some key spiritual work. I learned some practices that deepened gratitude in my life. I realized how much I let myself get distracted by email, by connectedness, by my own insecurities. By taking more time to be focused and present, I have been able to deepen my prayer and spiritual life. 

It was also a time to recommit to this sacred task. Wearing a title can sometimes cause personal identity to get lost. The time away let me rediscover some of my own deeper self and to realize how much I really do love both the Kol Emeth community and my holy task in it. I came back more passionate and focused than I left.

I view this second half as the time to complete this phase of my own inner work. I grew in some important ways and then have been immersed into the challenges and effort of the day to day. I am grateful for another chance to reflect and take stock of how to make some of these changes and growing spirituality more permanent in me. I believe this work will make me a better person and a better Rabbi.

I am grateful to the Kol Emeth community for offering me this chance to disconnect while knowing I have such a loving community and role to which I will return. During my last sabbatical time, people were great about waiting for me to come back to reach out and allowing me to essentially just shut off email and cellphone. 

I am also grateful to our wonderful KE team. While I am away, Rabbi Graff will step up and take on the pastoral responsibility for the full community. She is blessed to have Sarah Miller, our Morat Derech, to help on the professional team, and we as a community are blessed with an abundance of deeply spiritual people who can help as needed. Please reach out to Rabbi Graff with any pastoral or Rabbinic needs while I am away.

Similarly, Risa Beckwith, our Executive Director, will cover some of the organizational pieces that I do in partnership with her. Feel free to reach out to her as well while I am gone with any questions of programming needs and other non-Rabbinic concerns. Finally, Sarah Miller will be making sure Talmud, Intro to Judaism, and my other educational offerings are organized. She is always my go-to person to figure out the details or vision of any of our programs or other offerings.

Finally, I am grateful to Jeff Schwarz as well who will step up to keep track of daily minyan and to help Rabbi Graff with Friday night coverage while I am gone. Jeff’s love of Kol Emeth and its people, and his own piety, have always inspired and moved me. And as always for financial or account questions reach out to Vivek,

I am grateful to all of you for this chance, and look forward to telling you all about my adventures when I get back!

Rabbi David Booth

This will be my last CyberTorah until a few weeks after I return.

Tue, September 26 2023 11 Tishrei 5784