Every day I am hearing about another friend or family member who received their Vaccine or at last the first dose of the Vaccine. I admit to feeling a little envious, that their safety net has arrived and they may feel less nervous about moving freely back into the world. I will wait my turn. I have patience.
I am busy with my duties as KI President, Zooming online meetings, and planning for the future. In my personal life, I have come to terms with having groceries delivered and packages arriving, sometimes surprised at what may be inside. I am watching a little too much TV, binging on Netflix, and I push myself, particularly in colder weather, to go outside every day and walk. My iPhone counts my steps and even records my walking speed at 3 mph, although that is probably nothing to brag about. My little Chihuahua happily follows at this pace, but is also glad to be carried part of the way.
The relatively slow and steady rhythm of my life has taken on a new normal after ten months, but now there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. We can all breathe a sigh of relief…
As President of the Congregation, I recently started discussions with our Board of Directors as to how to reset, restart and reopen KI. Reopening will be gradual and we will continue to follow Pennsylvania guidelines. We will continue to wear masks, and be aware of remaining socially distanced.
I also would like us to think about some of the “Jewish” values that have continued to guide us throughout this crisis. When we first closed our doors, we did so thinking of Pikuah Nefesh, or the “Safeguarding of Life.” We have done everything possible to make our building safe for our staff, including plexiglass partitions around all of the desks, supplying masks and sanitizer, and monitoring who comes into our building, as preservation of life is one of the bedrock principles of Jewish Law.
We follow the principal of Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh – “We Are Responsible for One Another” and it is our job to look out for the mental and physical health and safety of one another. As we prepare and distribute meals to others in need in our community, we do so with safeguards in place so the virus does not spread to others. As we call members of our congregation to check up on their well-being, we are sharing KI Kindness.
So, it is through Hesed – “Profound Love and Kindness” that I look forward to seeing you as the uncertainty of the last ten months wanes and we can be together once again in our historic synagogue.