Enduring the Unknown
Dear members and friends,
As you know, to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19.), individuals have been told to stay at home except for certain activities (work, shopping for food, medical appointments, exercise) and to keep the strict 1.5metre distance between people. Many businesses have closed. Accordingly, Temple David is physically closed: there will be no services or activities in our buildings.
For me, as your Rabbi, it is especially important that you call me for whatever reason, big or small – or even just to chat, to stay connected – please
I want to remind you, however, Sue our Administration Manager, the Board and I are available for you. We will be continuing to work, responding to phone calls and emails, and taking meetings over the various social media platforms. Even in this time of physical distancing, we remain committed to standing strong, and maintaining our community of caring and support for one another.
We will continue streaming Shabbat services every Friday at 6:30 PM and a short morning service on Saturday at 10:30AM. You can join us on FaceBook Live by visiting our ‘Temple David Perth’ public page. For those who do not use Facebook, you should still be able to view the livestream by visiting our home web page, we have embedded the Facebook feed there for ease of access.
We will still be praying the Mi Shebeirach for healing for those in our community who are in need, however as we are on a public space I will not be mentioning any names. For those who are in a period of mourning or commemorating a Yahrzeit, the third reading from the Torah each Shabbat morning is dedicated to your loved ones. If you would like to add names to the Yahrzeit list please email Sue in the office and she will update our records.
Our monthly Talmud class will still take place every first Monday of the month from 7-9pm via ‘Teams’. Please let me know if you would like to participate. In the past month I have started to upload to our public Facebook page online resources called Judaism @Home. This is a diverse collection of resources and experiences includes support, learning, music, and much more for our community members of all ages. Additionally, we are working with our Board and the members of our community who are at lower risk to help create a corps of volunteers to support those at higher risk for as long as is necessary, with technology, groceries, and moral support. Please let me know If you would like to offer your help.
I know that many of you may be worried or anxious at this time, and so most importantly, I want you to know that we at Temple David are here to offer our support and our prayers, even while we may not be able to offer our physical presence. As a synagogue community, we are here to provide comfort, support and inspiration to one another, whether we are in each other’s physical presence, or not.
In difficult times, our Jewish traditions and faith have nourished our spirits to endure the unknown. I believe our Jewish values should guide us, among them:
- Netilat Yadaim / Wash your hands. For 20 seconds with soap and water. Jewish tradition has lots to say about hand washing. The Shulchan Orech, the code of Jewish law reminds us that we are commanded to wash our hands upon awakening, when we come into the synagogue and before and after eating.
- Pikuach Nefesh / Preserve Life. Jewish values demand that we preserve life and we do, not only to preserve our own lives, but those of our family, friends and neighbours. Social distancing matters. You don’t know who has underlying conditions even if they look healthy.
- Al Tifrosh Min Ha Tzibbur / Do not separate oneself from the community.’ We can practice ’social distancing’ without sacrificing sacred connection.
Cancelling programs, services, educational and social events can easily have the effect of isolating many of us from one another, but there are actions we can take to minimise that impact. Call and check in on one another. Make a point to call a Temple David friend or two each day. Utilise the technology at our disposal, including streaming, video conference, Facebook and social media, to help us stay in touch with each other. Even though it won’t be perfect, let’s try to find ways to remain spiritually connected.May we move forward with resilience and with hope.
We pray for a complete healing for all who are ill, and we pray that all of our medical professionals and our leaders remain strong as they care for the people of our nation and our world.