A brief reflection on moving on…transitions are a challenge!

A brief reflection on moving on...transitions are a challenge!

Well, after 42 years, it seems to be time to move into the next chapter.

Rabbi Address reflects on 42 years in the rabbinate, retiring from congregational leadership, and how the next chapter will unfold for him.

On June 2nd, I observed the 42d anniversary of my Ordination from the Hebrew Union College.

Rabbi Sally Priesand around the time of her ordination in 1972.
Rabbi Sally Priesand, the first woman ordained as a rabbi by a US seminary, around the time of her ordination in 1972.

We were so young and idealistic. A class of rabbinic students — historic in the sense that the first female rabbi was a member of our class — we were shaped by the politics and idealism of the 1960s. We were sure that we would be changing the world within a decade.

Our rabbinate saw the rise of the feminist movement, the GLBT explosion and the change in attitude regarding accepting inter-faith marriages. It has seen the growth of spirituality and the gradual changes in synagogue affiliation and the role of the rabbi.

In about three weeks, it will be time to transition to the next chapter.

No retirement (a horrible word) for me, and so many of my colleagues of our age. Rather, a transition to do a series of things that we wish to do, on our schedule.

Jewish Sacred Aging and the accompanying work, plus a lot of teaching, consulting and speaking, will keep me very busy. Yet, to be very honest, it is very hard to conceive that I have been “doing this” for 42 years. I was speaking with a classmate the other day and we were reflecting on our anniversary and he turned to me and snapped his fingers, as if to say, it went “like that”.

It is quite easy to sit and just remember what was. The challenge in all of this, I am finding, is to keep learning from what was and be challenged by what will be. To contemplate a change in routine and identity is sobering.

I have decided to call this my “three-quarter life” crises. There will be no sports cars, however, rather, I hope there will be a greater appreciation of time and family and the fact that there are wonderful opportunities that will now be available.

Transitions are interesting. All of a sudden “it” is here. Where did the time go? And what new challenges lie ahead?


Rabbi Richard F Address.

1 Comment

  1. You HAVE changed our world and our movement — all for the good. I miss working with you! It was fun whenever you came to SF!

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