today I found myself praying in the chapel that I prayed in as a rabbinical student.

Sitting among the rabbinical students and professors I found myself overcome with emotion

i thought about their voices and the voices that filled this same space in the years when I was a rabbinical student

I thought about my classmates and what we discovered and tried to do in that very space

I thought about the professors that taught me Torah and helped me find my way into the rabbinate

I thought about myself, a decade younger, what had changed and what endured

what joys I’d experienced in that place, like my wedding blessing and so many other moments of leading and joining

how easy it was to stand in judgment of others in that very space all those years ago without wondering whether that was a good idea or not

how I sometimes had to drag myself into communal prayer and how joyfully I enter that space now

thinking about the songs I didn’t know I’d write and how some of the Jewish teachings of those songs are reflected in the stained glass

and of course the recognition that none of the people who prayed there back then are still around, including me

we’ve all become something other than what we were. Necessarily. New names, titles, relationships, beliefs, wrinkles, dreams, failures, homes. Whatever was there back then has been transformed into memory

and then I was overwhelmed with emotion and found myself crying

for nothingn and for everything at the same time


Then and now