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Ready for Take-Off

09/07/2022 05:43:08 PM


Rabbi Sydney Danziger

When I was twelve, I took my very first airplane ride with my sister and grandfather to visit my aunt and uncle who had just moved to New Jersey. I was so excited for take-off; to feel myself lifted into the clouds and look down on the tiny houses and people below. As we sat on the runway, my joyous anticipation was palpable. We dutifully watched the flight attendant as she walked us through the emergency protocols, and then we waited. And we waited…and we waited. I am sad to say that my very first flight was delayed by nearly 12 hours! The worst part was that, for those 12 solid hours, they didn’t let us disembark the plane and kept regularly announcing over the loudspeaker that we should be able to take off in just a few more minutes. 

But you know what? When we finally took off, it was glorious! It was even better than I had imagined. Perhaps the old adage, “Good things come to those who wait,” should be amended to “Better things come to those who wait longer.”

In some ways, becoming the senior rabbi at TBT has felt like sitting on that tarmac in Albuquerque 30 years ago, waiting to take off. When I was first hired, I had naively imagined that within months, TBT would be flying high with clear skies and a good tailwind at our back. 

Ha! As the Yiddish saying goes, “Mann tracht, un Gott lacht”—man plans and God laughs.

Instead of the exhilaration of being airborne, Covid grounded us…and not just for a few months, as we had originally anticipated, but for years! And, just like my first flight, we all felt helplessly trapped. 

But, although Covid is not over, the stormy skies of this pandemic are beginning to clear, and I feel like TBT has finally been cleared for take-off. There is a new energy around the shul. We are in our usual High Holiday preparation frenzy, but instead of feeling hectic, it feels refreshingly normal. Services have been well attended on our back patio this summer, and we have been able to catch up with some of our old friends and welcome many new faces. We are receiving and responding to scores of membership inquiries every week. We welcomed a new and wonderful office manager, Lisa Roher, to our staff. The board is doing an incredible job by creating a guiding mission, an inspiring vision, and foundational values for our Temple. And last, but certainly not least, we are moving forward with concrete plans for our long-awaited Solomike Early Childhood Center.

We are finally lifting off…and IT IS GLORIOUS!


Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Rabbi Sydney

Wed, March 22 2023 29 Adar 5783