These are extraordinary and strange days that we are living in. This world-wide virus is forcing us to rethink the way that we work, socialize, shop and interact with the world. When many things around us are closing or being postponed, including our sacred religious communities, we must do more in our own homes. There is a Jewish concept that says that each of us can build a mikdash me’at – a tiny sanctuary within our own homes and continue to fill our lives with blessings.
On the High Holy Days, we say that our lives should be filled with Torah, Tefillah, Tzedakah (Torah, Prayer and Charity) and that these will save us.
So, let us take these days of isolation to read or study a little more Torah. Keep up with the section of the week, or browse a website, or take that book you have been meaning to read from your shelf. Let us study.
Prayer is about being grateful. In these days it is easy to become discouraged. Open up a document, or a journal, title it “Attitude of Gratitude”, and see if you can write down three things each day as your own private thanksgiving. Make these things specific, be observant.
The Cedars is also setting up a “Prayer Line” for all people to contribute to. In the same way that one can put a prayer into the stones of the Kotel, you can go by the Cedars and add your prayer to the prayer line. (Take your own pen or marker.) Let our prayers flutter up and be witness to our love and hope.
Tzedakah is about giving to others not because we are generous, but because we are called to do the right thing and share with others. Now is the time to make an extra donation to a cause, a person, or an institution.
Let Torah, Tefillah and Tzedakah be our guiding lights in these strange times.
We may not be able to convene personally at Temple Shalom for a while. We will be carefully monitoring what the Health Department is advising, but let each of us stay connected to our friends and family at Temple. Pick up the phone and call two people. Open your computer and write to two people. If a virus can spread so quickly, so can our thoughts and prayers for each other.