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Students, I'm Here to Listen

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the whole list of words and phrases used to describe the moment we’re in. Unprecedented. Challenging. Once-in-a-lifetime. The concerns of our country and our world are swirling all around us, filling our minds with added worry, adding to our anxiety. Your parents are trying to figure out how to take care of your family, how to protect you during this time, how to keep up with your education but also still have time to be a kid and enjoy yourself.
 
Being a kid in this world can sometimes be tough. But I can’t even imagine just how tough it is for you right now. Masks covering our faces for when we are fortunate to be together. Temperature and health checks before doing literally anything, and every single time. Starting a week at school in the building, ending it at home. Every day’s plans subject to change based on the news in town or in the county, the choices made by others, even the weather. And no ending date, no day on the calendar to circle and work towards that would help us feel like the end is at least in sight.
 
It’s all just so hard. And I’m so, so sorry that you have to go through it all.
 
But you don’t have to go through it alone. And you shouldn’t have to. Not ever.
 
So I want you to know something, something that is incredibly, deeply important to me that you know. And that is this:
 
I am here for you. We are here for you. This is why I do what I do, why I felt called to be a rabbi – to be here for you. Whatever it is, however I can possibly be helpful to and supportive of you, I hope you will let me know. Whether it’s having a safe space to share feelings or even vent, an opportunity to talk through some things or get some advice, or even a chance to talk about anything else at all – all of these are always available to you. Whether I am physically at the temple or not, my “door” is absolutely, always open, and I will never be too busy to be present with and for you.
 
I know that this is a dark and scary time for all of us. And I don’t pretend to know how and when it will all end. But I do know that no one should be going through it alone. And if there is ever anything I can do to help remind you of that, that you’re not alone, then maybe we can help light up just a little of the darkness together.
 
I hope and pray that you won’t hesitate for a second to be in touch with me if there is any way at all that I can be there for you.

In friendship,

Rabbi Strom

Tue, December 1 2020 15 Kislev 5781