(Photo taken 2020 by one of our children on a hike near Fallen Leaf Lake in a rain/snow mix)
In an effort to encourage people to share about their meaningful occupations, I will be highlighting guest bloggers (about once a week). My guests have been provided with a questionnaire to dive deep and explore their meaningful occupations. These occupations increase their productivity, joy, and motivation to achieve their goals. If you would like to be a guest blogger, feel free to send me an email and we can learn more about your occupations that affect your daily life.
Finding the first guest blogger was easy....I asked my husband (who willingly obliged-during the busiest time of his year). Thank you, Evon!!! Evon serves as the rabbi at Temple Bat Yam in South Lake Tahoe and North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation in Tahoe Vista. He has recently established the Temple Or Rishon/Tahoe Virtual Jewish Community with his colleagues in Sacramento. If you are curious to find out more about the daily sessions offered by a diverse group of Jewish professionals, feel free to check out their website: https://tbytahoe.org/virtual-community/ People are often curious about how a person becomes a faith leader and how their faith and work affect their life. He shares more below. Enjoy!
How do you know Rachel Yakar?
Rachel is my best friend, partner, confidant and spouse. We met while on staff at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), a Reform Jewish Summer Camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. While this may be the story of 'how' I know Rachel and the details of how we met, there is so much more, of course! I know her because we found great joy and meaning in being part of our summer camp community. I treasure, to this day, the countless lessons that I learned at OSRUI. I know Rachel to be a caring and compassionate human being, a thoughtful and excellent parent, and a partner who is unconditionally supportive in so many ways!
(Photo taken in 2009. We haven't changed at all;)
Tell us about a meaningful activity (occupation) that makes you unique?
As a rabbi, I engage in conversation with many individuals with different life narratives. I believe my activity of striving to engage in a unique way with each individual makes me unique because it enhances not only my abilities to try and truly hear what matters to others, but also enhances the understanding of myself.
What skills and abilities do you have that facilitate your engagement in the meaningful activity that you described above?
I hope that my listening skills continue to improve and allow me to truly hear others, in order to gain a deeper understanding of different points of view and deepen relationships.
What makes this meaningful activity (described above) challenging or changing during COVID-19?
During the Pandemic, I have found the virtual reality to be a great band-aid, however, it has limited the human feedback that takes place when being in the same space with one another. In conversations pre-COVID, being together physically allowed me to hone in on social cues more effectively and learn from others more fully. During COVID, I find this work to be challenging and not as effective both professionally and personally.
When do you feel most productive?
Late at night and into the early morning when everyone else is sleeping I tend to be most productive. I also feel most productive when I am passionate about the work before me.
What meaningful activities increase your quality of life and life satisfaction?
My quality of life is enhanced when the activities are meaningful. They are meaningful when I am able to notice the impact, either on me or on others around me. Specifically, I find quality of life enhanced when I have the opportunity to teach something I feel confident teaching and when I recreate both solo and with partners. I also find great meaning when I am spending time with my family going on adventures that feel exciting and new to all of us.
How does your environment (location/space) impact your meaningful activities?
The ability to live in the mountains impacts my activities, because I feel deeply connected to the natural environment. The natural world inspires me in its balance between complexity and simplicity.
If you could “channel” a superhero or super power who or what would it be?
If I could channel a super power it would be for my listening to be true. In other words, to be able to hear the words people share and to understand what they are trying to convey with total clarity.
If you have more questions for Rabbi Evon Yakar, feel free to leave a comment below....and I will seek out the answers.