Moving an entire family is a massive undertaking. The Book of Numbers, from which we are now reading, could just as easily describe the sheer number of boxes or books we’ve loaded onto trucks, the trips to the store to resupply our pantry, the frequency of calls from friends and family back east asking about our progress. We are not even done yet. The kids will not arrive for another month, and there is still so much to do.
Somewhere amid the piles of boxes, the movers, and the new address, Reno has begun to feel like home. Maybe it was the first night we cooked a meal in our own kitchen, like we’ve done in each of our previous homes, whether welcoming guests or just sitting together as a family. Perhaps it was when we hung a few pictures – the one from Israel where we met, the painting of a landscape near our old house in Cincinnati, or our ketubah. Or maybe it was when we began waking up at a reasonable hour, feeling rested, and no longer on Eastern time.
More than anything though, what made us feel like we were home was not anything physical or quantifiable. What made us feel at home was immediately being surrounded by a welcoming, loving community. Offers to help us unpack, phone calls of introduction, invitations to dinner, advice and recommendations – these transformed a new, unfamiliar place into something we recognized. We have been greeted with such kindness that we cannot help but feel at home. Even thousands of miles from our parents and (for another few weeks) our kids, we have felt warmly welcomed into this congregational family. We hope to return some of that warmth to all of you at Shabbat services this weekend. Make sure you introduce yourselves to us and let us know why this place is your home. We look forward to getting to know the community and its people better so that with every interaction and each meeting, we can smile at one another more and more and say, “we’re home.”
Rabbi Benjamin Zober
Rabbi Sara Zober