I miss you!
We are separated from each other by the need to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, a disaster who proportions we do not know yet.
Yet - we do know that with G-d's help -in particular through the help of us engaging in the mitzvot of kindness and caring for our fellow He has commanded us with, we will make it through this and emerge stronger. This is the first time so many shuls on so many continents have been closed on a Shabbat for ages and ages.
However by this temporary ceasing of all the wonderful and holy things we do to together -though we will do them ourselves is for a very positive reason there is a minority -many people but a small minority who are in danger. Most of us are not in danger even if we catch the virus.
The 90% of us are rightfully - turning our lives over to protect the 10%.. We recognize that the value of our lives is truly related to the value we place on other people's lives. I do not claim these ratios are precise- I am using these numbers as a figure of speech.
As it is stated in the Mishnah, Tractate Sanhedrin Chapter 4, "It was for this reason that man was first created as one person [Adam] (Note: Eve and Adam were one person later divided into two according to he Midrash), to teach you that anyone who destroys a life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed an entire world; and anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world."
We are suspending important obligations for an even greater one: to save life -perhaps indeed our own.
Some ideas for this Shabbat
We are not joining together in Shul but we can do shacharit at the same time between 9 and 10 and read the weekly Torah portion and commentaries between 10 and 11 as we do every week when we are physically together. Then Bless the New Moon (in your Siddur) and do Musaf.
We can pray in any language -read commentary, go slow and savor a prayer. When we do return to services our prayer will be the better for it
Discuss the Torah portion with whoever you are "locked down " with.
Say the prayer for the ill, include those you know and those you don't -anywhere on this planet
This week we read a double Torah Portion: Vayakhel and Pekudei. They complete the discussion of the Mishkan -the movable Sanctuary, its building and dedication. We have spent about 4 and 1/4 portions on this. A reason for this focus is because the Mishkan is collective but made of each individual's contribution. once everyone gave there were no more donations requested - everyone has participated. Even after we no longer have a Temple - that collective contribution by each individual expressing themselves for G-d's sake remains as an unbreakable Temple. The synagogues are called a "Miniature Temple" - so too our communal Temple remains strong.
We shall bridge the gap of space by the our togetherness of purpose and continuing to contribute to our work as Jews.
Staying in touch
1. This situation creates numerous hardships. If any member of CBT or anyone else needs help with food, deliveries or other matters they are in need of -please get in touch with me and I and I am sure, many others, will seek to do all I can.