In Pirkei Avot, Hillel teaches us, “Do not separate yourself from the community.” Yet here we are in the middle of a pandemic where we are being told to separate ourselves. How do we separate ourselves without really separating ourselves? How do we keep our community together during this unprecedented time? We have choices. We can hide ourselves away in our homes. We can ignore all the warnings and head out into the world. Or…we can find balance. With so much change and uncertainty in our lives, routine and continuity seem to be one solution. We can find ways to continue to be part of a community. We can participate in all that we have at our fingertips. We can study with scholars in Israel. We can pray with family and friends across the country. And we can study and pray together in our own time zone.
As a parent, I learned very early on that routine and consistency were key to raising a well adapted child. Of course, there were plenty of times when schedules were broken and plans got changed last minute, but those were also opportunities to learn life lessons. As we enter this next phase of pandemic living, I want us all to remember that keeping a schedule and familiar routine for our kids is incredibly important. Just when we think it’s ok to say let’s just go with the flow since we have nowhere to be, our kids need us to be somewhere. They need us to be somewhere familiar, somewhere comfortable. They need us to keep their routine the same as it always was.
An article from the Jewish Journal caught my attention this week. We have all been talking about how the world isn’t the same and won’t be the same after this pandemic. Well, neither is or will our Jewish world. “If enough people decide to opt out, the Jewish world will never look the same. It will not have a solid foundation to rebuild and reconstruct in the innovative, vibrant, spiritually uplifting ways we so desperately need.” In this time of uncertainty, I want us all to remember that yes, change is good, but change can also destroy the foundation of who we are. As we move into this next phase of our new reality, please remember that your Jewish community needs you and your kids. Click here to read the entire article.
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