None of us has ever lived through anything like this before. I, for one, really have no idea exactly what to do. Perhaps some of the more learned among us can find Talmudic instructions – but I think most of us are making it up as we go along.
What makes this difficult for me is that my usual coping mechanism – reaching out for community – is ill advised, even prohibited. Now what? We have all heard the advice: social distancing, washing your hands. That helps protect the body but we also need to protect our hearts. And when going to services, or even sharing coffee with friends is out of the question, I ask again. Now what?
Rabbi Dean and several members of Temple Beth Hillel leadership have had long conversations on how to react not just as responsible citizens but as a community. We have an idea. It is not the perfect solution and it will be a work in progress, adapting as we go. It involves combining ancient Jewish philosophy with 21st century technology.
Let us know how you are doing. Do you need help? Can you provide help? Please fill out this form. It allows us to support one another in this brave new world. You can access it here or lower down in the update. Please fill it out and let us know what you need, or how you can help.
We can reach out. If you are lonely or scared, reach out to a Temple member. Maybe a friend, maybe someone you don’t know well. If you are fine and feeling strong, reach out to someone as well. They may be lonely or scared and not know where to turn. As an introvert, the thought of reaching out to someone I don’t know well is slightly intimidating but not impossible.
How to reach out? We have sent out a current roster by email.
How to reach out? That depends on who you are reaching out to. Ask if they are OK. Ask if they need anything. Equally important, ask if they have something to share. Ask if they have any ideas of how to help.
Some of us prefer phone calls, some texts, some emails. There’s really no way to know so try. No one should be offended to receive a call or message from their community, just to check in.
The optimistic view is that we can use this crisis as an opportunity to become closer to each other, to be a stronger community.