Good to be Home


Good to be Home

From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

It’s good to step away and it’s good to return. The time that you afforded me to step away and recharge my batteries also enabled me to return this week ready for a sweet New Year. I wrote you earlier about my planned trips. They all came to pass, and they were splendid. The mountains were inspiring, and the air was refreshing. Just what I needed to write, to think, and to breathe deeply. My visit to see my mother, Joyce, who celebrated her 85th birthday this month, was everything it needs to be. She still walks two miles outside every day, rides a stationary bike, volunteers in the community, and doesn’t take even one pill. God bless her with continued strength.

But the icing on the cake of my vacation, the cherry on top of the sundae we shared, was time with my grandson, Ronen. He’ll be three years old next month. A year of Facetime helped him prepare to see his Pops (that’s what he calls me) and to welcome his Uncle Adam, who joined me on the trip. For five days, we played, read books, and shared walks to the park and the corner café. It’s as the Proverbs teach (17:6), “Grandchildren are the crown of their elders, and the glory of children is their parents.”

My soul is full again with more to give and to do, again. Those of us who dedicate ourselves to our work begins to believe that if we’re head-down in it, we are achieving soul-satisfying outcomes that propel us further. It’s true to a point. Roles like rabbis need dedication and head-down focus to move a congregation and a people. But rabbis, like others dedicated to their roles, are people whose spiritual tanks dry up, too, and whose souls need to be nourished, as well. Retreats filled with silence and contemplation are not for me. I need family and friends, my children, and my grandson, all of whom hug and laugh openly and generously.  

Now the year ahead is filled with high expectations for safety and good health despite a persistent pandemic, all set against a backdrop of a sweet New Year that begins on September 6th. Beth Israel’s rabbis, staff, and lay leaders have not wasted a moment in preparing for you a year of inspiring programs, exceptional music experiences, and outstanding speakers, in addition to meaningful worship, education, and community.  

Rabbi Scott and Rabbi Sataloff have led well in my absence this summer, and I’m grateful to them. We’ll reconvene many times before the High Holy Days before we welcome Cantor Richard Cohn on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Pam Kutner, Executive Director, David Scott, Director of Lifelong Learning and Engagement, and Roslyn Haikin, President of the Board of Trustees, have set the proverbial table for all of us to enjoy a Jewish feast of the head and heart.

I look forward to welcoming you on Shabbat, when I return to the bimah on August 13th, and to stepping into the New Year with you in good health and peace. When we’re together, tell me about your summer, or drop me a note about your moments of rejuvenation in the mountains or the seashore and time with family and friends.


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