Yesterday a letter went out to my congregation stating that our rabbi's contract will not be renewed next year. The Board of the Temple had been working with the rabbi for months and very intensively for the last week behind closed doors, and ultimately the decision was made. There are many reasons why this happened, and it did not happen over night. The rabbi will still be our spiritual leader for the next year, and the elected Board, representative of the congregation, people who stepped up when asked to help lead the congregation, participated in a long, drawn out, excruciating process, and made the decision that the details surrounding the reasons for the contract to not be renewed be kept confidential.
I just returned home from the annual congregational meeting. While the president of the congregation tried to keep to the agenda, so many of the people attending the meeting wouldn't allow that to happen. The yelling and anger that I saw in our sanctuary, in the place that we pray, our holy place, made me cry.
I personally stayed a member of my synagogue in spite of the current rabbi, not because of him. I contemplated leaving many times, but ultimately decided to stay because I have been a member my entire life. I have so many connections to the synagogue, feel such a connection to so many people within the congregation, how could I leave? I stayed in spite of, not because. But I stayed.
My heart aches.
The anger. The power plays I witnessed tonight, the threats to leave. The knowledge that so many of the people there tonight were riled up because they spoke to the rabbi and received one-sided information that I truly believe was inaccurate. I believe that our spiritual leader purposefully called our major financial contributor to get him on "his side" and encouraged him to gather supporters, creating a rift. How can a holy man act like this? I don't know all the details, but personally I am so relieved this decision has been made.
I know this is rambling. My heart truly aches over what I just saw and over the repercusions from the devisive actions that have occured and I'm having a hard time calming down from what I just experienced.
I come to the synagogue to pray, to feel closer to G-d, to be connected with other Jews, to teach, to feel a sense of community, to be with my other family. Just as a child is traumatized when the parents get a fight, I am traumatized to see so many members of my extended family fight.
I don't even have a point or a way to summarize this or even an idea on how to end this. I am feeling so unsettled and so upset I just need to end it. I'll write more tomorrow.