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Rabbi's Message

04/03/2020 04:16:43 PM

Apr3

Dear Chevreh,

 

We are living in times unlike any we have ever experienced before. And still, as it does every year, Passover is arriving. We may be exhausted from taking care of little ones or elderly parents or other family members in need of care. We may be scared, alone, grieving what we had hoped we’d be doing this spring; sad we are not having seders with others with whom we are accustomed to sharing. Many of us are worried not only about our health but our financial future. This situation is taking an emotional toll on all of us at some level.

 

We might, as Bayit (https://yourbayit.org) posits, ask new questions this year:

 

-What does it mean to experience an Exodus from the Narrow Place when our lives may feel more constricted (by illness, quarantine, economic hardship, or grief) than ever before?

 

-We can’t physically invite all who are hungry to come and eat. How can we re-imagine that call in this time? What will we do to nourish those in need this year?

 

For some of us, some of the time, this is also a time of gratitude for the slowing down from the often untenable schedule of our regular lives. We may feel joy at the trees beginning to blossom, the song of the birds, the ability to spend quality time in person, on the phone or online with loved ones. Just as the theme of seeing ourselves as if we were coming out of slavery is a theme at Passover, so too is the celebration of the natural world embedded in the love story we read in Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs:

 

For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, And the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance.

 

When we see the regeneration of the natural world around us, some hope stirs in our hearts and we focus on what we can do to take care of each other, inspired by the mysterious cycles of nature, and knowing that as humanity and as Jewish community, we have faced horrible times before.

 

Let us enter this Shabbat HaGadol, this “Great Shabbat” before Pesach with rachmones/compassion for ourselves, for wherever we are, and all that we hold within. We may be in a narrow place, but more than ever we need to reach out and broaden our ways of nourishing ourselves spiritually to keep our souls healthy and to be of use to others during this terrible pandemic.

 

Please stay safe.

 

Wishing everybody a Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbos.

 

I look forward to seeing many of you this evening at 7:30 pm for candlelighting and services on Zoom at: https://zoom.us/j/412061997

 

 

Rabbi Diana

Wed, July 8 2020 16 Tammuz 5780