Thursday, January 27, 2022

As we enjoy our Thanksgiving turkeys and trimmings in our still-small, ever watchful groups, we look hopefully toward a spring and summer that will almost certainly welcome our friends and families back closer to us. That is a thought to hold on to, for which we can be grateful.

It may be months yet, but each day that we achieve taking appropriate-for-us safety precautions, every sleep and every moment, brings us closer to visiting and being in the homes of our loved ones again, in a version of the world we remember from long ago.

We are also grateful to have learned to celebrate smachot differently as the world around us continues to turn, during this half-life we are experiencing. We are, b’simcha, celebrating births, brissim, namings, bar/bat mitzvot, engagements, weddings, sheva brachot, all in new ways. Maybe they are less effusive, but they are less expensive, and maybe that, too, is something worthy of gratitude. We also celebrated, this past week, the completion of our Daf Yomi warriors’ learning of Masechet Eruvin. May our community’s continued dedication to lomdei Torah help us all go from strength to strength.

Though it’s not without difficulty, we are also grateful to be able to be menachem avel b’Zoom in this era, even though it is different, and sometimes quite strange. Our rabbinic leaders, chaplains and chevra kadisha members who have assisted mourners in person during this era are true heroes of our generation. Those with the calling to help others with the mitzvah of chesed shel emet are without comparison.

We are grateful, too, for the middot we have had to more consciously instill in our children during this time of high anxiety. With few grandparents able to swoop in and do it for us, parents like us are having to embrace and teach our children more mindfully, by modeling menschlich behavior, ever aware that in us, they must see loving mothers and fathers who can be counted on to get them through these difficult moments.

We wish everyone in our communities a healthy and thankful Thanksgiving weekend.

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