Pirkei Avot, Daily Minyan and Community Resources
On Sunday, March 22, 2020 Rabbi Israel wrote:
I was thinking about the great sage Hillel’s famous dictum from Pirkei Avot: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I and if not now, when?
Never has this quote felt more applicable. Each of us has a primary responsibility to take care of our own health – washing hands, wiping down surfaces and social distancing, are designed to make sure that we keep ourselves healthy. We also should make sure that we have adequate supplies of the things we truly need.
But some who are young and healthy might say, “I’m not likely to suffer severe symptoms if I contract it, so I don’t need to follow those measures.” This is where the second part of the dictum comes in. Its not just about you or me. We have a responsibility to society, and especially to those must vulnerable to this fast-spreading virus, to do all we can to “flatten the curve” by carefully following the directives that have been issued. We should also avoid hoarding food, supplies and medicine that others may need. Keep enough for your needs, but don’t selfishly deprive others “just to be safe.”
Now is the time – most experts believe that we already started later than we should have. But every day matters. The sooner our entire population takes these measures seriously, the sooner we will see an end to the spread of the virus. There is lots of evidence now that these measures work and countries that implement them quickly and thoroughly have the quickest path to reducing the spread.
So please – if you don’t want to listen to the CDC, listen to Hillel! Either way, take care of yourself, take care of others and do it now!
Beginning tonight, we will have one link for all of our services and public programs. You can bookmark https://zoom.us/j/5149435568 and just click to sign-in.
PLEASE NOTE: Using HEADPHONES significantly reduces the background noise when using Zoon and allows us to be more interactive.
DAILY MINYAN – NOW TWICE DAILY! https://zoom.us/j/5149435568
We will now be having minyan twice a day – mornings at 8:00 am and evenings at 7:30 pm. As per my letter last week, we will read the names on our yartzeit list and recite Mourner’s Kaddish at each service, as long as we have 10 people who are signed in – with VIDEO and SOUND. We are calling pages from Siddur Sim Shalom (either pocket version or full size blue/grey Shabbat, Festivals and Weekdays). If you don’t have one, you may request PDF versions of the Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays and download them. Please note that the pagination will be different but the prayers will be the same!
ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES
VOLUNTEER FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
For those who are healthy and not in a high risk group, there are opportunities to help out members of our broader Montgomery County community. Click on the link to view options.
CONSERVATIVE YESHIVA ONLINE LEARNING
Bex Rosenblatt, a local scholar who works for the Conservative Yeshiva, is teaching a course on Songs of Songs, starting next week. It will include a deep dive into the text, using chavruta learning and shiur on zoom. Now is the time to let love in! Click here.
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
USCJ has great resources with updated health information, opportunities for learning and prayer and links to download the various services for weekday and https://uscj.org/press/protecting-your-congregation-community-from-coronavirus, for those who don’t have access to a siddur at home.