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Bright lights - Virtual Minyanim & Zoom link

03/19/2020 12:00:00 AM


Dear haverim,
I trust everyone is beginning to adapt to this new set of norms that have redefined reality for all of us.  I constantly find myself reverting back to 9-11.  In the course of one day- one catastrophic set of events- life as we knew it changed dramatically.  Never again would we board an airplane without going through a metal detector.  The word terrorism would, forever remind us of the havoc introduced to our lives by the set of events defining 9-11. 
Similarly, Coronavirus has changed our lives for the foreseeable future.  When will we feel comfortable sitting down at a restaurant, again?  When will be able to meet friends without having to worry who is an unknown carrier of a microscopic virus?  When will we stop wondering whether or not we should be wearing gloves, a mask, or even venturing beyond the confines of our homes?  How long will this plaque last?
It will end, and we will return to our “normal” existence.  Most likely, our levels of hygiene will be heightened, forever which has to be considered a good outcome.  At the same time, the overwhelming amount of havoc introduced to our lives is nothing but a nightmare.  So many jobs lost; so many people displaced; so many sick people; so many isolated, quarantined, and restricted from family and friends.  This will come to an end but how long must we wait?
One of those bright lights amongst the chaos that has invaded our lives is the introduction of our virtual minyan.  Commencing with Wednesday morning minyan yesterday, we have held three consecutive minyans- Wednesday morning and evening, followed by this morning.  What a remarkable opportunity ZOOM technology has offered to us!  Amidst the pain of the daily news cycle we can find our Jewish community, turn to the prayers that have inspired us throughout history, and continue to be inspired to join God as “shutafe Elohim- partners of God with the responsibility to repair our broken world. 
Each of our three minyanim has been so very well attended!  Please consider joining us- what a special and easy way to begin or end your day.  We moved the start time back to 7:30 in the morning, and have retained the start time of 6:15 in the afternoon.  Help us connect with you- join us for a few minutes of inspiration.  (This morning Jodana joined us from Israel and Rabbi Kushnick had a family friend join us from south Florida!)  I will include the instructions to download ZOOM at the end of this email, enabling everyone in our community to participate. (congregation zoom link here)
In a short while- at 11:00am this morning- I will conduct my weekly Tanach class.  I will do so via ZOOM and extend the offer to anyone who would like to join us.  Each of us needs to feel our community.  Fortunately, we are blessed with so many extraordinary advances in technology to enable us to feel the presence of our community.  I shudder to imagine how our predecessors dealt with these kinds of conditions without cell phones, ZOOM technology, or groceries delivered to our doorstep.
Have a good day….stay safe….continue washing hands regularly….and don’t stop telling our young men and women they are not immune from this disease.  Everyone must practice social distancing.
Shalom u’mevorach,
Rabbi Stefan J Weinberg
Thu, April 15 2021 3 Iyyar 5781