A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 8/7/2020

For the past five months, we have utilized Zoom and Facebook Live to stream our services. Without doubt, this has allowed us to feel connected during this time of physical distancing.

An unexpected benefit of livestreaming has been our ability to reach members of our community who have moved away like the Radcliffs in Sacramento and the Schwartzes in San Diego.

Another benefit is the convenience of attending a service virtually. No need to fight traffic to get to Temple. No need to listen to the rabbi’s sermon if you don’t want to (ha, don’t think I won’t know!).

But there is also a downside to livestreaming. In our sanctuary, we participate by praying together, singing with one another, listening to words of Torah, and enjoying one another during the Oneg.

A service online has the risk of being very passive. You look at a screen, try to join in prayer, but your attention may wander for any number of reasons.

As you know, we will not be gathering at Temple Beth Torah for the High Holy Days. We are working very hard to create virtual services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that will be, we hope, inspirational.

But for Yuntiff to be meaningful, to quote an old saying, you get out of it what you put into it.

In the weeks ahead, I will be sharing a number of suggestions of how you can personalize the High Holy Days. I will be offering resources about how to begin spiritually preparing for the Days of Awe. I will share specific ways you can transform a portion of your home into a sacred space. During our services, my intent is to offer opportunities for reflection and engagement.

For our High Holy Days to be spiritually uplifting, it is both a personal and communal process. May the weeks ahead be filled with inspiration and hope.

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