Two and a half years ago, my husband and I were about to separate. Well, actually, I suggested that we “separate” and he heard it as “divorce.” Either way, the words got our attention. We were working the 12 steps in a program called, Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA). My husband and I would work on a step, then we would share what we’d done with another couple. We tended to work the steps more quickly than the other couple, so by the time we shared some of the work we’d done when we thought we were going to separate, we realized that we were no longer thinking along those lines. We had talked enough, shared enough, listened enough, cared enough and loved enough to be committed to our staying together and continue to work on improving our relationship through RCA. We decided not to throw in the towel.
Ask a lot of Asheville transplants why they settled in this area and many say they were drawn here, or they just knew this was where they belonged. Justin Goldstein, the dynamic new Rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel, is one such Asheville transplant.
“Interestingly enough, the first time I ever came here I knew I would live here one day,” Rabbi Goldstein said. “Even as I was starting rabbinical school – and in my early days there, I never actually thought I would work with a congregation – the one place I said I’d be willing to work with a congregation was here. The much shorter answer is that it’s been a home away from home for almost 15 years. My wife’s mother lives here; we were married here, so we have felt connected to Western NC for some time.”
We were like a litter of pups in the den, Philip and I and our combined four children, his two boys and my two girls, when we first moved together in 1981 into a renovated turn-of-the-century stone school house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Our kids ranged in age from 8 to 14, and at first were like oil and water. I was not used to boys, their musky smell and their incessant motions and vocalizations.
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