It has been a few months since I wrote last. Life has brought to the Boxt family quite a few changes. On July 1, we moved to Ocala, Florida. I am now the rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom. Every day I come into the office, and I am reminded of how amazing life is. You see, Temple Beth Shalom shares a building with First Congregational United Church of Christ. We have two separate sanctuaries, but we share an office, classrooms, and a social hall. Each day we find new ways we can learn about and from each other. This is truly a model for what can happen when people choose to work together, rather than against each other.
Let me fast forward a bit - Today, I heard a song for the first time in a long time. I watched the video for "We are the World," by USA for Africa. This song came out when I was quite young - 1985 - I was nine years old! When I heard it today (and, btw, I listened to it repeatedly), I was brought to tears. My first thought - what they sang about 37 years ago applies to us today. "Love is all we need..." Every decision we make every day has a very wide impact - worldwide. It DOES matter how we treat others - even those with which we may fundamentally disagree.
In my life, I have lived in a number of states that do not have the reputation (at least not today) for being the most welcoming to "different" kinds of people. Most of my life has been in these states. There is work - so much work - to do...and I want to be a part of the solution. Sometimes, I just feel so tired...so exhausted. I look at what is front and center - the news about this politician or this organization...and then the heat! Disneyland Paris is cutting holes in water hoses to help their patrons stay cool...you read that right. That was a headline I read today.
Then, I turn back to YouTube...and I listen. "We are the ones to make a brighter day...there's a choice we're making..." How many of us can look in the mirror and celebrate the choices we are making? Do we realize it is not just about us? Tears come streaming down my cheeks...every parent wants their children to live in a better world they did. Our legacy is what we leave behind - how can we do this if we are so concerned with what is "in it for us?" This weekend I am going to URJ Camp Coleman to spend 2 weeks on faculty.
This is a blessing I do not take lightly. I get to be with the future - I know it is cliché, but it is true. While at camp I truly try to listen and learn - just as much as I talk and teach. These campers are the future...they will one day sit where I am sitting. Will they sit at their computers and wonder why we are still singing the same songs...dwelling on the same problems/challenges. The choices that they make will make a difference and actually change the world for the better.
You want inspiration - look at your children, your grandchildren, the children in your neighborhood...they should make us want to do better; to be better.
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I am a husband, father and rabbi - just trying to help to make the world a better place!