Message from Rav Natan – March 2021

There is a great ongoing rabbinic discussion: “Is it better to say the Shema at the optimal time (earlier) at home or wait to arrive at the synagogue and do it with the community?”

The dilemma between prioritizing one element over another in order to decide if one should pray at home or at the synagogue is not new to our people, while the reasons for that dilemma might have changed many times over the years.

While many of us can’t wait to be back to our building, being safe and healthy has been and will continue to be our guiding principle and most important priority.

We have been working together with the Reopening and Religious Affairs committees to find the right way to start moving back to our building for services in a safe way. We might not be able to accommodate everyone who wants to come at all times and we have members who might not be comfortable coming back yet. Don’t worry! Our virtual presence will remain and we are working to create a meaningful experience for those who are physically and virtually present as well.

Just as the sage Hillel teaches in the Pirkei Avot: “do not distance yourself from the community”, we as a community don’t want to have you distant. We want to have all of you participating and engaged, finding meaning and purpose in all activities we create.

If you are reading this and have not participated much in our programming this year, I would love to hear from you what is preventing you from joining us and what we can do together that you will find exciting and meaningful. Your voice is very important to us and we would love to hear from you as we are planning our next steps.

Despite the challenges we are all facing, I’m very proud to see our many accomplishments over the past few months, celebrating virtually Purim and Pesach, having great conversations as we learn together during Beit Midrash and other classes, and our amazing Trivia Night that was a huge success!

Over the next couple of months, we will meet again in our parking lot for more social action opportunities together with some learning, playing, and of course, schmoozing as well!

If you are able to get a vaccine, please do! This will protect you and all our loved ones, allowing us to soon share some bagels and lox together on the same table. If you need help to get an appointment or to get to a vaccination site, please reach out to us and we will find amazing volunteers who are very knowledgeable about this process to help you.

Wishing everyone a Pesach Sameach and looking forward to seeing you soon!

Rav Natan

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