Below is an excerpt from Rabbi Lina Zerbarini's Rosh Hashanah sermon delivered at Yale this year. She is a 1997 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Associate Rabbi at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University. Download the sermon in its entirety.
I do believe in possibility, in growth and change. And yet, the process of change is frightening, marked by fits and starts and two steps forward and one - or three - steps back - in myself and in others.
I am the parent of three special needs children. One had been in placement for nearly four years and returned home this summer. So school arrived with hope and anxiety for both of us. The first week - which was three days - was amazing - she got up, every day, easily. She joined the volleyball team - fabulous. And I struggled: do I accept this and rejoice or do I gird myself against the day she doesn’t get up?
How do I stay open to her change and yet protect myself (and her) from the sadness, or disappointment I will feel when she has a bad day (which she inevitably will - and, in fact, did, on Monday, the 4th day of school).
There’s a tension between openness and self-protection. And not only with others, perhaps even more so with ourselves. How do we strive and yet not be hurt or plunged into despair by our (inevitable) failures?
|Lina Zerbarini on Change.pdf||160.04 KB|