Shabbat shalom! 20 years ago at around this time, I started the placement process for finding a Cantorial position. I said that I would go anywhere and actually had auditions as far away as Toronto. Despite the fact that I had never really lived out of New York and, except for my year in Israel, had never really lived away from my family, I thought that I could pack up, pick up, and go. 19 years later, I have been at TBA, in Westchester county, where my sister already had moved to start her family, and only 45 minutes from Long Island where I grew up and my parents still live. I learned quickly that I am a home body and I imagine that I would not have made it for very long had my first congregation been farther from where I am right now.
This Shabbat, we read Lech L’cha, the story in the Torah where Judaism begins. Well maybe not Judaism but monotheism. God says to Moses, “go forth from your native land, your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Bereshit 12:1). What would you do if you heard God’s voice? What would you do if God told you to leave your home for an unknown destination? Would you get up and go? Would a promise like this make it easier, “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you great. You shall become a blessing” (Bereshit 12:2)? What would it take to make you leave the surroundings that you know best to start a journey that you don’t even have a road map for? How would you tell your family? Your friends? I think that this weeks 10 Minutes or Torah from the URJ tackles these questions beautifully with a letter from Abram to his Father by Rabbi Bruce Kadden and a short article about seizing the moment by Evan Traylor both of which you can find by clicking here http://urj.org/learning/torah/?syspage=article&item_id=95182.
I don’t look back and wonder what if, because I am happy where I am near family and with friends. I don’t know what I would do if God asked me to get up and go, do you?