First days

I was getting ready for bed after my first day at CBI St. Pete ( and feeling a little frustrated. There was so much I wanted to accomplish today and yet I felt I was bogged down in details, trying to get my house in order, failing to get my new driver’s license. Then I skimmed through daf yomi with a toddler who was refusing bedtime. It’s even harder to concentrate on the daf when she keeps swiping the page, but I got the gist of it. It was not my favorite daf, discussing the details of splashing blood on the altar, but I wanted to tweet anyway.

That’s when it hit me. It was obvious. I didn’t have to do everything today. God willing, I have my whole to accomplish my goals. This may seem obvious, but how often do we need the reminder to slow down, to breathe, to appreciate the world around us.

Things that I didn’t finish today include getting internet, getting driver’s license, making many phone calls.

Things I DID accomplish today:

  • Participate in a lovely Shacharit service
  • Bring my daughter to daven
  • Take her to her first day of PRTT CBI preschool
  • See my amazing Shul President
  • See my amazing Hazzan
  • See my amazing staff
  • Imagine what my office could look like with volunteers
  • Get logged into my computer
  • Set up email
  • Have phenomenal homemade vegan gluten-free lunch with amazing actors who grew up in my new shul
  • Re-meet amazing and warm and loving congregants
  • Have multiple wonderful and kind visitors in my home
  • Meet (again) friends from my search committee
  • See how my daughter thrived in a new environment 
  • Get daughter in our pool for 15 minutes
  • Keep said daughter healthy and fed 
  • Spoken to family and friends about starting strong-and frustrations of home ownership. 

  •  Thanked God for a beautiful and blessed day

Finally, I registered this new domain name.  Since St. Pete is on the water, I want to appreciate my surroundings regularly. There is great, mystical, holy power in water. We speak of Torah from the heavens, and water can be its own sacred space. I hope this blog will be a place where I can bring Torah from my beautiful new home, bring inspiration, bring hope, bring a reminder that we are all in this great journey together. 


  1. Welcome to your new home and community. I look forward to reading your blogs. You accomplished many things on your first day. Here's to another beautiful and blessed day!

  2. Rabbi Phil, I'm praying that you find a new Wednesday morning coffee group (and another awesome place like 2Alices) where you can meet up with your new congregants to share food & conversation. We never solved any major world issues but we sure shared alot of love & laughter. I will miss you but I promise to pray for you & your family as you transition into your new home.

  3. Loving your blog - welcome!


Post a Comment