My morning gratitude practice is robust. I start immediately by thanking God for my family: my husband who is usually still asleep as I leave for minyan and my daughter who has made her way into our bed sometime during the night hours. As I walk the short distance to shul, I remember to be thankful for my short commute. And even after more than three years, I remain thankful for being part of the Spiritual Leadership Team (SLT) at Beth Tzedec. In today’s climate, so many of my rabbinic colleagues are unfulfilled and lonely. That is not my experience. Beth Tzedec’s SLT should be renamed the SLDT-the spiritual leadership dream team.
All members of the SLT contribute to our success. Today I want to highlight two people in particular. It is a blessing to work alongside Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl and Rabbi Steven C. Wernick. In a span of one week, they are both being honoured for their unique contributions. In Ottawa on Thursday, Rabbi Frydman-Kohl was formally invested into the Order of Canada by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, our Governor General. And on Monday, Rabbi Wernick will return to the Jewish Theological Seminary to receive his Doctor of Divinity, marking 25 years of service to the Jewish people, in the rabbinate.
In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachiya taught: find yourself a teacher and acquire yourself a friend. Rav Baruch and Reb Steve have become both teachers and real friends to me. I am grateful to have them in my life. While we come to Beth Tzedec with different backgrounds and life experiences, we treat each other with respect and love.
Please join me in honouring Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl and Rabbi Steven C. Wernick for reaching truly wonderful milestones this week. May they continue to inspire us, lift us up and guide us on our spiritual lives.
Kol hakavod (congratulations) to my wonderful rabbinic colleagues,
Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin