Image: My first Intro class, Fall, 2009.
I’m sitting in the classroom at Congregation Beth El, and the clock says 15 minutes to 7. There are 45 minutes before class begins.
This isn’t an ordinary class. It’s the last class of the year, and we’ll talk about Jews and Food: kashrut, favorite foods, strange foods, swap recipes, and then we’ll say goodbye.
This one is a big goodbye for me, because it is my last Wednesday night Intro class. I’ve taught this class for years, and this past year I’ve realized that it is beyond my physical abilities to teach. Even with my assistant, Jessica, to help, I wind up spending the next day in bed.
I’ll still teach online, and in fact I hope to ramp up my online teaching. That process begins with Tikkun Leil Shavuot Online in just a couple of weeks. There will be more interactive text study, done in shorter series or even one-time events. I’m not done teaching, I’m just moving on to something new. Watch this space!
But this is the last night of something I have enjoyed as my dream job. My wife started pointing out to me two years ago that it was taking a lot out of me; this year I finally had to agree. We age, things change. That’s OK.
A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven:Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A time for being born and a time for dying, A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted;
A time for slaying and a time for healing, A time for tearing down and a time for building up;
A time for weeping and a time for laughing, A time for wailing and a time for dancing;
A time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, A time for embracing and a time for shunning embraces;
A time for seeking and a time for losing, A time for keeping and a time for discarding;
A time for ripping and a time for sewing, A time for silence and a time for speaking;
A time for loving and a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace.
So, it’s time. In a few minutes there will be about 30 people pouring into this room, and we’ll talk about food. Then we’ll talk about ways to continue learning, and I will hand them off to their rabbis and their communities. And it will be good.