As a Jewish communal professional, my shul is no longer a safe space from the daily grind of work. I get asked questions about events, people feel they can vent to me about what is going on, and worst of all – I hear the criticisms which I can do nothing about.
As a religious Jew, I need Shabbat to feel like Shabbat. So does my husband. We wrestle with how to stand up to these people that I will not have these conversations on Shabbat/Chag, without offending them or reflecting poorly upon my agency. I was told when I took the position that this would occur, I just doubted how fast and furious it would happen. I was definitely not prepared for it to come a mere 6 weeks into the position and on a topic which I didn’t have the authority to discuss in the way these congregants and community members.
While I watched my friends on staff at Hillel and those who are Rabbis face the question of how to make a holiday a sacred space amidst the nature of working in the community – nothing could prepare me for living it myself. I also know that as a Rebbetzin this will only amplify and that is honestly frightening to me.
As this is still new to me, I ask you dear reader – do you have any insights? What are your tried and true methods for separating the mundane from the holy where there is a line in the community’s sand? How do you stand firm in the sand, while the tide flows around you?