Good morning dear friends. Every day we are finding new opportunities and new challenges. On Thursday evening we held a Yizkor service (which we do four times a year – Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot and Yom Kippur). Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon we were able to gather in a shiva minyan (of 52) to provide comfort and consolation to Marilyn Wolovick and her family members who had just buried their beloved mother Sarah. Our friend Rabbi Allan Finkel conducted the funeral which was live streamed, albeit over the wind, and then he joined us here in Victoria for shiva. Jewish geography meets technological advances! We will continue to meet on-line for classes and services.
Technology has taken many forms and shapes over the years – we read in Torah that God carved the commandments we were to receive on stone tablets – technology. The Rabbis as they laid out their arguments and discussion in both the Yerusahalmi and Bavli Talmuds were engaging in technological advancements. Later day printers laid out those same discussions in what we would come to call hyper-link. Our electronic world is just the latest iteration as we attempt to facilitate communication with each other. And even with all things electronic, I am still grateful every morning for any hard copy mail that arrives at our mailbox, and I thank our newspaper delivery persons who bring our newspapers to our door. We have many people to thank in our day to day lives – even if we don’t get out to greet them. Let’s remember to carry that gratitude with us when this pandemic ends.
There are also many opportunities for us to learn while we are at home: we can learn to cook a new cuisine – or how to convert leftovers into that next meal. I am adept in the kitchen – and I am learning to adapt recipes to our new reality! We could learn (or begin to learn) a language. Maybe we can finally learn to garden – this time gives many of us time at home to take on that project we never quite had time for. My Jewish Learning is an amazing website with all manner of topics presented. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/
Tuesday April 21st is Yom HaShoah and we cannot have any public commemorative gatherings. For those who wish to attend a service online please see: https://www.holocaustcentre.com/virtual-yom-hashoah If you have a Yartzeit candle consider lighting a candle in memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Shoah. May we never forget the blessing of their lives.