At long last I could decide this week to share with my coworkers the news about my fateful professional decision I had officially made several months before - leaving academia after my two-year sabbatical finishes at the end of September 2020. I had been feeling serenity since deciding to leave academia, but it was only after making this announcement that I started to experience enormous relief. If you are one of the few people who have been following this blog in the past several months and wondering what professional transformation I was talking about here cryptically, you have my official answer now.
Though I started turning over the idea of leaving academia even a few years ago for something that had started to interest me as my second career, it remained mostly theoretical as I was scared to leave my comfort zone. I had to experience divorce several months ago to conquer my fear of uncertainty and failure and take action. This suffering, for which I myself am mostly to blame, turned out to be an excellent teacher and a spiritual catalysis. I found myself starting to contemplate about life in general and my life in particular and could finally take courage to make this fateful decision, telling myself that the biggest risk in life is to take no risk. I still think that if I didn't take this risk now, I would regret that on my last day in this incarnation of mine.
I spend my daytime trying to make my academic legacy - one specialized dictionary of Modern Hebrew for foreign learners, which I'll make available online for free once it has been completed, hopefully by next June - and two weekday evenings taking courses here in Jerusalem for my new career, which is supposed to combine Judaism (especially Hasidism), spirituality, and contribution to the society by helping others help themselves.