Putting together this hardcopy version of the web version of the draft version of my ethical will causes me to reflect on all that has transpired in the two years since I began working on it.
Returning to Yale to finally walk in graduation 30 years after the fact. The ALEPH Sage-ing Workshop and Kallah — filled with great singing, ruach, relationship building. My 60th birthday — the family retreat to Inverness, leading the congregation in prayer, "coming out" as you Yeshaya. By an iMac — my spiritual, creative, artistic tool. Conducting a funeral. Changing my work focus from project management to energy and sustainability. Leading Shabbat services at Lytton Gardens Senior Community. Buying a road bike, training throughout most of 2008, writing 300 miles through the Negev! Attending ALEPH Smicha Week for prospective rabbinical students. Joining the two-year ALEPH Davennen' Leadership Training Institute (DLTI). Learning of my brother's cancer, and searching for the appropriate response. Traveling to Italy and Sweden with Debbie, heading off to Israel before she and Judi departed for Kenya. Passing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional exam. Giving Josh our blessings to proposed to Becca. Visiting Jeff in Alabama. The excitement and joy of Becca and Josh's actual engagement, and wedding planning. Jake completing his residency, heading off to New York joining Alana there. Shira taking off to study art in Jerusalem.
This may merely be a list of events, but events trigger deep thoughts and feelings and awareness of values that may have been hidden from view. There is so much left unsaid.
An ethical will — mine at least — is a moving target. I don't want to suggest that my fundamental values change that swiftly. However, as stated in the passage entitled Points of View, I have many of them. The topics that arose in this volume came to me spontaneously. They do not necessarily cover everything that I hold dear — e.g., pizza, Mexican food, Shabbat, my mom, life, death, crossword puzzles, and naps, to name a few. Nonetheless, I will let this volume be a snapshot in time without amendment. Future volumes may or may not arise. Only time will tell. This one will just have to do for now.
I have not told you half of what I saw. — Marco Polo