Well, here's something I can count on as a congregational rabbi. If I write a blog post two days before Rosh Hashanah about birth, I'll be doing a funeral on the afternoon before the holiday begins. That's what I did today.
Mind you, I'm not complaining. I don't find it humorous or ironic. It's just the way things go in this profession that's all about life. Since death is part of life, it's bound to show up, even when we don't expect it.
Actually, it was a beautiful funeral. I had to warn the family that I would not be able to meet with them beforehand or to prepare a eulogy. In my thirteen years as a congregational rabbi, it's the first time I've ever done that.
The family was very understanding, though. They were just grateful to have a rabbi for the funeral at all only hours before Rosh Hashanah begins.
It worked. The deceased's sister, her husband, and a friend spoke so wonderfully about the man. It was a reminder to me, on the eve of my biggest show of the year, that sometimes you don't really need a rabbi.
I take some comfort in that. It's nice to be needed, but sometimes it's better not to be. People can love, remember, grieve and console without much help from a trained professional.
Just as it ought to be.