Here we are trying to figure out ways to gather together virtually and we happen to be reading the double Torah Portion of VaYakhel-Pekudei. The Hebrew word VaYakhel means: And he (Moses) gathered the people. We have been rising to the challenge of gathering together using the technological medium of Zoom! As I mentioned on our first Zoom gathering last night, I think we may be able to legitimately call ourselves the “Zoom Jews” for the time being. Hopefully, we will be back to normal soon and this new term (“Zoom Jews”) that I coined will be all but forgotten. In the meantime, we gather together without being physically present in the same place.
The second challenge that we have at this point in time is the challenge of keeping track of one another and of our wellbeing. Amazingly, our second Torah portion is Pekudei, which in Hebrew means: keeping track. In the Bible, Moses completed the building of the Sanctuary and gave an accounting of all the elements that went into the building of the holy space. He kept track of all the things that were donated and made a point of sharing that information with the people. We, today, are charged with keeping track of one another. We are the elements that go into making our congregation a holy community. And, we are doing the best we can to account for each and every one of us during this unusual time.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me/us by phone or by email and/or to take part in our Zoom opportunities. We want to know how you are. We want to hear from you. We want to share some torah and our prayers with you. We want to be connected.
VaYakhel-Pekudei says it all. Let’s gather virtually for the time being. Let’s connect as best we can. And let’s keep track of one another because we are all valued members of our holy community.
I take this opportunity to thank all of our staff and volunteers who have been working so hard to help us meet our congregational needs under such unusual circumstances!
This Shabbat is Shabbat HaChodesh. It is the last of four special Shabbatot before Passover. It falls on the Shabbat before the Jewish month of Nisan begins. The special Torah reading of the Maftir this Shabbat (Exodus 12:1-20) describes the night of the first Passover. It is an apt reminder that Passover will soon be here.
We also recite the blessing of the new Jewish month of Nisan this Shabbat. Rosh Chodesh Nisan will be on Wednesday night and Thursday of this coming week. May it be a month of joy, of good health, and of redemption!
I look forward to seeing you on the Zoom Virtual Abbreviated Kabbalat Shabbat this evening at 5:30 p.m. And I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Shabbat!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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