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And So it Goes…

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dear Friends,

A story is told that before a child is born, his soul peers down from the Heavenly Abode and selects the parents that will be right for him. Having voiced his choice to the Holy One, Blessed be God, the soul is then dispatched to his eagerly awaiting parents.

It is a great responsibility, then, to live up to the expectations and needs of our children who, as this legend teaches, have chosen us because of the belief that we will be the best parents for them.

As many of you know, our son, Beernut, struggles every day with Asperger’s Syndrome. This developmental disorder affects every aspect of his life and, as he has gotten older, has presented an ever-growing list of challenges. It has become apparent to us and to his medical team that he requires far more support and attention from me than I am able to give while fulfilling my responsibilities to you.

Congregation Fill-in-the-Blank has been the lifelong spiritual home for me, for PC, and for our children. Here we have celebrated and mourned, rejoiced and been comforted. It is with sadness that we will leave at the conclusion of my contract, June 30, 2011, and resettle on the East Coast. Stepping down from congregational life will allow me to be the mother Beernut had selected more than a decade ago.

As always, I pray for the continued growth and strength of our shul.

Kol Tuv,
Rabbi FrumeSarah

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 16 November 2010 8:19 am

    I am sure that this will be a great loss for the congregation. Don’t give up blogging though…

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 10:07 am

      The loss definitely goes both ways. And I appreciate the support for my blogging. You will still find me pontificating here in FS’s World.

  2. a rabbi in mississippi permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 8:42 am

    While I can’t speak to the challenges, the pain, and the blessings of raising a child with aspberger’s, I went through a similar transition, relocation, and rebalancing of family and career at the end of my last congregation contract in June of this year. I also just turned 40 this fall!
    May you receive over the next seven months all the appreciation you deserve and all the love you have inspired as a leader and teacher of your community. May it be a healthy and productive period of grieving and shifting focus for all of you. I look forward to hearing how things go, and cheering you on virtually. Be in touch if you ever want to engage in some collegial sharing.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 10:08 am

      Such thoughtful blessings. Thank you so much. And I might very well take you up on your offer for sharing as I imagine it will be quite a transition for me from the rabbinate to civilian life.

  3. Former Reform Jew permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 10:44 am

    Wow – the famous father-daughter rabbinical duo is coming to an end.

    May your transition be as smooth as it can be. May your family continue to be a Light unto the Nations – on the other side of the nation.

    I hope that you find a way to reenter the Jewish world professionally. We need more Reform Rabbis like you.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 10:10 am

      Thanks so much.

      As it so happens, the father half will be retiring one year after I leave. It wasn’t going to last forever. But we certainly made our mark these past five years. They have been such a blessing to me.

      And I agree — we DO need more Reform Rabbis like me 😉

  4. ositakoala permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 10:48 am

    Huge news… wishing you all the best. (And please don’t stop blogging!)

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 10:10 am

      Aw…thanks so much! I can’t imagine not blogging and I presume I will need it more than ever 😉

  5. Elisabeth permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 10:56 am

    I also wish you the best with this huge transition, and hope you don’t stop blogging! Truly, you’ve really inspired this orthodox shul attendee to appreciate the seriousness of Reform Jewish life. I can only imagine how you must be for your real-world community and your family. Sounds like those kids choose really well.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 8:24 pm

      I cannot begin to tell you how much your comment means to me. It is such a validation 😉

      I cannot imagine not writing and sharing my thoughts. Especially as we go through this tremendous change in our lives. And I go through such a huge change in my life.

      My kids seems to feel that they chose well more days than not. Which I consider a great accomplishment.

  6. Tuesday, 16 November 2010 12:46 pm

    It’s certainly going to be a loss for the Reform world. I wish you a smooth transition, and hope that the next chapter of your life will be filled with many good things.

    I also join your commenters in expressing the hope that you will continue to blog.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 21 November 2010 8:28 pm

      That is so kind of you to say.

      The transition will be interesting for all of us. We are excited, nervous, sad, happy, and everything else. I have never moved with other people as my other big moves occurred prior to kids/marriage. Save the move to NYC while in rabbinical school when I went without PC.

      A story for another time 😉

      Anyway, I am looking forward/dreading sharing the journey with the kids.

      And yes, you can make the journey with us here in FS’s World!

  7. Tuesday, 16 November 2010 1:44 pm

    We wish you all good things as you make your transition to the East Coast this summer!

    Please know that Margot and I available any time if you’d like to talk, vent, etc.

    You’re a wonderful role model — professionally and personally.

    Take care!

    Seth 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:27 am

      Seth — you and Margot are amazing. Thank you so much for your support and meaningful words.

  8. Linda permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 1:46 pm

    Your extended family and congregation will certainly miss you, as will the larger local Jewish community. How fortunate you, PC and your children are to have each other as you make the right decisions for your family. I send you much love and will look forward to continuing to read about the adventures of Beernut, his parents and siblings.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:30 am

      We are going to miss this place so much. I drive around and see so many places that hold so many memories. Like going to Red Robin with you on Tuesdays before teaching. I still order the same thing 😉

  9. Tuesday, 16 November 2010 2:12 pm

    Wishing you ease and joy in this time of transition. All the best to you and your fam.

  10. Tuesday, 16 November 2010 2:47 pm

    I imagine this isn’t a very easy step. Wishing you all the best for the future. I second Risa on your blogging activity.

  11. Tuesday, 16 November 2010 4:00 pm

    Like Ya’akov’s “vayetzei” at the beginning of last week’s parashah — even your leave-taking is a moment of holiness. What a beautiful letter! How lucky we are to live in the present moment, with its technological gifts. I hope that setting down the demands of the congregational rabbinate is everything that you, Beernut, and the rest of the family need it to be, AND that we’ll continue to learn and be inspired by our virtual window into Frume Sarah’s World.

  12. Rabbi Hillel Cohn permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 4:07 pm

    Obviously this is the right choice for you and your family but your leaving will leave a hole in your temple and, especially, in your mom and dad’s life. You will be missed for many good reasons.

  13. Annette permalink
    Tuesday, 16 November 2010 11:08 pm

    Realizing what a blessing you are to your family and your congregation – indeed to the entire Jewish community, your difficult decision rends our hearts also. Your children and PC definitely chose well. May your strength, courage, and faith help uphold all of you during this transition, as well as through new doors in the future.

  14. Saturday, 20 November 2010 7:15 pm

    I can only imagine what a difficult decision this. Wishing you well in the future.

  15. Suzanne G. permalink
    Monday, 20 December 2010 4:14 pm

    What exciting and exhilarating news! You must be slightly overwhelmed, to say the least… As someone who lives on the East Coast, I can (selfishly) say that it will be nice to have you here. Maybe we could get together after all these years…

  16. Lili permalink
    Thursday, 6 January 2011 11:45 pm

    As the thought of you leaving our Shul and our community brings sadness to us, the reasons for doing it are so selfless. Having a child growing up with “special needs” is challenging enough, but you put Beernut first to be able to guide him, cheer for him, and take his hand and walk him down the right path. As we have all read recently, these kids are sometimes the target of critisism and bullying, and yes, we do need to be there to protect them. Having experienced all of this personally with my now 16 almost 17 year old son, I have so much love and appreciation for you and our Shuls other Rabbi for planting the seed and growing the spiritual young man that he has become. I am forever grateful for this guidance and education we have all recieved from you and others at Shul. May Beernut succeed with all that he does, and may your family enjoy having mommy home. You will be terribly missed!!!!

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