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Message from the Rabbi - March 18

Dear Chaverim,

I hope this message finds you well and that you are persevering through these surreal, crazy times. A comment I heard in shul recently was: "For all my days, rabbis were begging me to come to shul. Now they're telling me to stay home!" So these are truly extraordinary times we are living through. And we are all experiencing history in the making.

So much of what we typically do together as a congregation has been canceled for the time being. Of course, we are doing this with the strongest urging from the medical community as it has been demonstrated that the less congregating that takes place, the less the disease will spread, which will invariably save lives. Please keep this in mind as you choose what to do throughout the day and try to congregate with others as little as possible.

With this advice in mind, Beth Shalom, like most shuls, has suspended all our in-person programming. This includes our classes, religious school and preschool, shul programs, and likely even services for the time being. But if you check the shul website you will see that several of these regular events will be streamed online. Details will be sent out with access instructions in the coming days or you can find them on our shul website.

There is an old legend about King Solomon sending out his servant to find a magic ring that makes happy people sad and sad people happy. After a year in fruitless search the frustrated servant reluctantly prepared to return to his king empty handed when he suddenly stumbled upon a jeweler near the palace gate. He explained to the artisan what he was seeking and was told to return the next day.

When he returned he was handed the magical ring he has long sought. Carved into the gold were the words ‘Gam Zu Yaavor – This too shall pass’.

When life is moving along with our routines as usual, we rarely stop to think how fortunate we are. And we are reminded: "This too shall pass". And when life is interrupted as it has now become for most of us, we must remember to look beyond the unnerving challenges of the moment. This "now" is not "forever". And while much of the earth is "Closed Until Further Notice" it is not "The End of the World as We Know It". This too shall pass.

So I urge you to stay strong and in good spirits. We will all get through this. And please know that you are not alone in this struggle. As a meme that has been going around online states: “Your grandparents were called to war. You are being called to sit on your couch. You can do this!!!”

Let us do what we must. Let us help those around us who may be struggling in these uncertain times. And let us remember that “Gam Zu Yaavor – This too shall pass.’

Warmest Regards,

Rabbi Mark Zimmerman


** Please Note - Updates on our "virtual" shul programming and online streaming can be seen here: Broadcasting with Beth Shalom


Mon, July 6 2020 14 Tammuz 5780