The Torah teaches us:
When either man or woman shall clearly utter a vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to consecrate himself unto the LORD … All the days of his vow of Naziriteship there shall no razor come upon his head; until the days be fulfilled, in which he consecrateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long. All the days that he consecrateth himself unto the LORD he shall not come near to a dead body. He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die; because his consecration unto God is upon his head. All the days of his Naziriteship he is holy unto the LORD. And if any man die very suddenly beside him, and he defile his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it …
Rabbis are sometimes like Nazarites. We make vows to serve God. We make sacrifices that other do not make.
Yet, we do not keep apart from our losses. There is no way to be left unscathed.
But we don’t stop being leaders. We don’t give up our vows. We lead from grief and through it. We hold one another. We hold our people. We let them hold us.
Yes, we shave our heads but not as an ending to commitment; as a recommitment. Consecration and Confirmation and Ordination all relived. Reaffirmed.
We made a vow. We exceeded it. We made another. We exceeded it.
We push beyond our wildest imaginings.
Push you. Push ourselves.
As our hair falls to the floor, one chapter ends and another begins. Our hair will grow back but we – none of us – will ever be the same.