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July/August 2019 - Message from the Rabbi


I hope everyone is having a relaxing and meaningful summer. Our summer started out great with a visit from our daughter Elise with her kids Josephine and Peter and our daughter in law Kelley with her two kids Waylon and Wesley. For the first time we had all four grandkids (and their moms) in our house. We brought them to TABI for a Friday night and it was a great moment for us to share Shabbat with our family.

One of the questions our kids got (and we got as well) was “Where is HOME for them?” It really is an interesting question and got me thinking quite a bit about the meaning of “home” for Gloria and me. Elise lives with her husband Noah near Orlando and Kelley lives in Oakland with our Son Bill. We also have kids in LA, Northern California, New York City and our world traveler, Sara who will soon be in Boston. If you ask our kids where “Home” is, you will get different answers. Some might indicate it is where they live now, some might indicate it is where they grew up – on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

They say that “home is where your kids are” – but what if your kids are spread out across the country? Our home is certainly not in any of the places where our kids reside now – and while our hearts may still be on the Cape – our kids are not and very little draws us back there, so that is no longer “home.” Six years into our life here in Southern Indiana, it is beginning to feel like “home” but we have no roots here. So, the deep question I have been pondering this summer is “where is home?”

This brought me to an understanding that there are several “homes” in our lives. We have our physical home – the house or town in which we dwell, we have our “familial” home - the place we were raised or where we raised our children and we have our “spiritual home” – the place that nurtures our soul.

Two years ago, we launched our Strategic Plan at TABI. Our 4th goal of the plan was: TABI to be our "Spiritual Home".... A place where our shared faith, culture and history gives us sense of belonging, a feeling of family and a shared purpose to repair the world. With Elissa Bakke assuming the mantle of leadership at TABI – I know that this goal will emerge front and center of our discussions over the next two years as this was the part of the Strategic plan she has championed since day one. As I reviewed our plan, looked again at this goal and heard Elissa’s remarks at our annual meeting, it struck me that while I may have difficulty articulating where my “home” is, I know that my spiritual home is right here at TABI. Whether it be during the high holidays, at Pesach or Sukkot or Shavuot, at one of our evening study sessions prior to some of our holidays, on the Bima with Scottie and Aaron or at Saturday morning services or Tuesday Minyan, I feel “at home” with our spiritual offerings at TABI. That is very rare for a rabbi to feel “spiritually at home” in their place of employment – most of us would seek out some other place for our spiritual needs.

TABI is a special place and there are many opportunities to grow and be spiritually enriched throughout the year. So, I ask you to please join me – Come “home” – not just for the holidays - but throughout the year. Join us at your “spiritual home” this summer.


Gary A. Mazo, Rabbi