We have a wolf in our congregation. We may have more, but we definitely have an alpha male wolf.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
Two weeks ago we were told that our rabbi was being put on sabbatical, partly to get some rest and partly as a punitive measure. Right away when I heard that, I felt something was not right. We were also told that this was a decision that had been mutually agreed on and that a sabbatical had been discussed before these events came up.
Some people pressed our board for more details, but the board said they did not want to stir up discord.
This last week we heard our rabbi’s side and things happened a bit differently than what we were told. It turns out that while we were being told that the sabbatical was partly for rest and partly punitive, our rabbi himself had been told that it was purely a punitive action.
It was not a mutual agreement. There was no give and take or back and forth about it-our rabbi was told he must take the sabbatical.
The board had given him a list of conditions that he rejected -the most heinous one being that he leave without saying anything to anyone in the congregation. Now this man had not been fiscally irresponsible, nor had he done anything immoral. The only reason to ask him to leave like that was to cast doubts on his character and to degrade him.
Obviously there is a power struggle going on. The alpha wolf is the instigator and he was able to get enough of the other board members to agree with him.
I do not know what the outcome will be. There is a concern that there might be a split, which people said they don’t want. I understand that, but I do not know if it is possible to avoid a split. If the alpha wolf is not repentant and does not step down, he will still want control once the rabbi comes back. And he could very well be watching for any little mistake to be made so he can get what he ultimately wants-total control of the congregation.
And the board lying about the sabbatical does not help their case for wanting us to trust them.
Interesting days are ahead.
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