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Rabbi's Week In Review - 12/20/2021

12/20/2021 04:59:17 PM

Dec20

This past week, most of my thoughts have turned toward community (and state and national) leader — and my friend — the Rev. Dr. Rodney Williams. Last Friday, Fay and I, along with Lara Steinel, attended the funeral of his beloved wife, Lorianne Williams.

Lorianne died after a long battle against cancer. She was possessed of a fighting spirit, and of kindness and compassion, always caring for others. The Rev. Dr. Williams spoke of her often, their wonderful marriage, and Lorianne being a wonderful parent to their daughter, Courtney.

In last week’s Torah portion, we read of the deaths of both Jacob and Joseph. We discussed our Jewish rituals in regard to burial and mourning, and how they differ from Christian rituals.  These differences highlight our differing theological views, how we relate to G-d.

Yet at this moment, I am not so interested in the efficacy of Jewish ritual. (I do think we really get it as to how our approach to mourning makes sense from an emotional standpoint.) My overriding interest is in being a support to the Rev. Dr. Williams, and supporting whatever ritual gives him comfort in this moment.

I have discovered over my years in the rabbinate that sometimes we have to suspend our sense of what works for us and give space to others, to be a source of support for them.

Thu, January 27 2022 25 Shevat 5782