Saturday, October 17, 2009


All dolled up for my first weekend at my new congregation

Y'all, this girl is TI-YURD.

Let me tell you, it has been a hectic few weeks around here. Thus, no updates. I appreciate those who've asked me to post, but I just haven't had time to write anything. Between my new job in York and all of the planning and meetings and such for that, teaching B'nai Mitzvah and my 2 private students, planning services for school (I'm leading t'fillah the week of October 24,) working out some necessary issues with one of my classmates whom I love very much, and oh yeah--SCHOOL--I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.

It's funny how last year I complained about doing too little at my congregation and not really feeling like the 'Cantor.' Well, now I'm working with a congregation who loves treating me as 'Cantor' and therefore has certain professional and musical expectations that I am supposed to follow. Everything I've done for my congregation has been wonderful and full of fantastic learning experiences, but I'm coming to realize that serving a congregation is hard work, both on the bimah and off.

I guess the saying "Be careful what you wish for" applies for me right now.

Please don't get me wrong. I am incredibly grateful and honored to serve this congregation and have these opportunities to actually BE the cantor. The people that I work with are nothing short of lovely, appreciative, and excited that I'm there. The joys of this job fiercely outnumber the frustrations.

They welcomed me right off the bat with this adorable (and delicious) cake. Special thanks to Shelley, the rab's wife, for snagging me a piece while I was chatted up by my fabulous congregants

The sanctuary of Temple Beth IsraelBrown's Orchards, a beautiful apple orchard just outside of York. The rabbi and his family took me apple picking the weekend before Yom Kippur. It is so beautiful, and the apples are to-die!

The truth is that even since birth I've been a little resistant to change. I love to tell the story of how I was brought into this world that so beautifully illustrates this point. I was due to be brought into this world on July 12, 1982. For medical reasons, my mom's labor was induced on July 6. I was born 11 days later, on July 17. Clearly, even the doctors couldn't force me out of the womb until I was ready. Eventually, I came around (obviously,) but I took my own sweet time doing so. The same applies in my life even now--it takes me a great deal of time to adjust to new settings and events. As great as the opportunity may be, I sometimes need to wait it out to feel truly comfortable. Anyone who's followed my blog for the last 2+ years knows this about me. It took me time to learn to love Israel, and I'm only just now beginning to enjoy New York. I know that I'll learn to love this job and my new, even crazier schedule--it's just going to take a few more weeks.

From the church across the street from the synagogue. The rabbi is good friends with the Pastor, clearly :)

I had some special visitors for Rosh Hashanah: From left to right: Uncle Stevie, mom, me Adam, Aunt Bonnie

The beautiful city of Baltimore, located 45 minutes from York. Some of my congregants took me for dinner in Little Italy--we ate amazing food, topped off with eclairs the size of a Chipotle burrito--I ate 2 bites, don't worry.

I'm using this weekend to really relax, take some time for myself, my friends and my family, and get plenty of rest for the remainder of the semester, which looks like it will be a marathon until the end. So far, I've enjoyed a voice lesson, lunch with a friend (hi Leslie and Mama Niren!), a wonderful nap, some roasted pumpkin (best shabbat dinner EVER), a trip to the Museum of Modern Art, and catching up on Private Practice and Glee. It's been a beautiful weekend.

So, this post didn't turn out exactly the way I'd planned, but it does give you a glimpse into my life right now. Really, I've had a great month, working for a congregation that respects me and feeling satisfied and fulfilled at school. Like I said, a little more time to settle in will help with the exhaustion and overwhelm, and I'm confident I'll eventually fall into a groove.

Late-breaking news (as of 15 minutes ago)--I will be in California December 18-24, and in STL December 24-January 3. Mark your calendars because I want to see you!!

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