April 20, 2021

As I prepared for our Passover Seder last month, I came across a powerful and thought-provoking reading that was penned last March and I wanted to share it with all of you as we continue to get closer and closer to end all of the COVID restrictions we have been facing this past year or so. 


Here it is:


What if….


the virus is here to help us?


To reset.

To remember.


What is truly important.


Reconnecting with family and community.


Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.


Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.


Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).


Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.


An invitation to turn inwards – a deep meditation – rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.


To reconnect with self – what is really important to me?


A reset economically.


The working poor. The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave.


How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?


And, washing out hands – how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.


The presence of Grace for all.


There is a shift underway in our society – what if it is one that is favorable for us?


What if the virus is an ally in our evolution?


In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful/more kind to our environment.


An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.


It was a time for a change, we all knew that.


And, change has arrived.



Now… I am fully aware that this piece does not even address the incredible loss COVID has caused as well as the emotional and mental upheaval we have experienced.  


But I am sharing this today in light of the unimaginable rise in violence and mass shootings we have seen. Sadly, this is one of the by-products of what has happened as more and more restrictions have been lifted. Like the improvement we saw as illustrated above, so too did gun violence significantly decrease.


According to a recent CNN news article, there have been a total of at least 50 mass shootings (an incident is defined as a mass shooting if four or more people are shot, wounded, or killed, excluding the gunman) since the March 16 targeted shootings at three Atlanta-area Asian spas. 


This means that more than 1 mass shooting has taken place a day since March 16.


Now… I am not going to get into the national debate surrounding gun regulation because I know that people have their own thoughts and perspectives on this. But I think we can all agree that as gun violence is on the rise, something needs to be done. However, what we cannot agree on is what that “thing” or “things” are.


Until we can do this, making sure that people are as safe as possible is paramount. This is why the Jewish Federation has coordinated this Sunday’s Community-wide Security Training in partnership with Secure Community Network. 


I cannot emphasize enough how imperative is that we ALL get as much security training as possible. If you have not yet signed up to attend this 90-minute training, PLEASE DO SO NOW! You owe it to yourself.  


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