Rabbi Dean wrote, “There are moments when we need to think, there are moments when we need to pray, and there are moments when we need to act.” For me, knowing when each is appropriate is difficult – especially amidst this pandemic.
When should we be cautious? When should we have the faith to move forward? If Nahshon ben Aminadav had not leaped into the sea, would the Sea of Reeds have parted? If we take a metaphorical leap of faith would we be brave or foolish? We may not be trapped between the Egyption army and the sea, but we are trapped between Covid-19 and our need to be together as a community. We are trapped between caring for our mental health versus protecting our physical health.
As an individual, I lack the wisdom to know the answers. There is so much I don’t know. The recent Covid-19 surge has not spared members of our community. Should we retreat? Should we move forward? Should we wait and see? I don’t know.
What I do believe is that even though I do not feel qualified to make these choices as an individual, that our collective wisdom and experience as a community armed with our ancient yet modern traditions and the spiritual guidance of Rabbi Dean, can and will get us through this and make us stronger.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when? -Rabbi Hillel
~ Michael R Cohen, President, Temple Beth Hillel