201403 - March, 2014

on Wednesday, 05 March 2014.

201403 - March, 2014
Dear Friends:  
     I have always claimed to prefer a climate with four distinct seasons - even including winter - much like that of my Michigan childhood home. Moving to London, Ontario, in time for the “Snowmageddon” of 2010 did little to deter me in this matter. Perhaps it was the novelty of the beautiful snowfall after two decades living near the Mason-Dixon line that captured my interest. Or even the far-more-competent snow removal mechanisms of Southwestern Ontario versus Ohio and the Washington D.C. area. However, even I have found the snow and cold of 2013-2014 a challenge to endure with a perpetual smile. 

As March arrives, with talk of March break and spring holidays, I find myself uncharacteristically eager for warm days and green grass. Yet at the same time I realise that hunkering down at home has brought so many unintended benefits. With it simply too cold to go outside, my girls and I have rediscovered our family game collection. Excess energy has brought with it creative uses for our music collection, and even YouTube videos with up-tempo tunes, as we make the best of any open area in our family living spaces. We have cooked together more, played more, and talked more, simply because we had so many other activities ruled out by the weather. Looking back, I can’t help but feel this “hard” winter has still been a “great” winter, even as I occasionally curse the icy lumps as we bump along on our neighbourhood streets and sidewalks.

In Judaism, we often find a similar moving target of Jewish ideals. Holidays always seem to come “early” or “late,” never exactly on time. Our ritual practices are either “too traditional” or “not traditional enough,” either in our individual or in our communal context. It’s hard to firmly ground ourselves in a sense of sufficiency or plenty - enough time, money, energy, or opportunity to live our lives the way we think we should. And yet most of us, if we remember to look close enough, will find that we have more riches than we imagined while caught up in the whirlwind of daily activity.

So let us look forward to the warming weather, and the happy seasons of Purim and Passover that will welcome us as the snow (eventually!) begins to melt. But let us also look back at the winter that has passed - our earliest imaginable Chanukah in November, to the uber-chilly snow days of December through February. Amid the ice and cold that challenged us, precious memories that we will treasure are likely to be found. Even if it was only to escape the elements by heading south for a much-needed vacation.

Please join us as we welcome Purim and thoughts of Passover. We are eager to reconnect with all of our Temple friends as we re-emerge from our season of winter home time. It’s bound to warm up soon.


Rabbi Debra Dressler

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