Related Blog Posts on COVID-19 and Elul

Measuring Demons in the Wake of the Pandemic

Jacqueline Jules
I spent months hiding inside my home after Covid-19 was declared a global health emergency. During that time, the Talmudic description of evil spirits resonated with me. It was certainly how I felt, surrounded by invisible threats just outside my door. Since I am a children's author, I channeled these fears into a picture book featuring a supernatural spirit.

An Invitation to Return

Rabbi Josh Brown
Rabbi Danny Burkeman
As we look out from the pulpit, we know there are good reasons that some faces that were familiar before March 2020 are now missing. We have embraced technology at every opportunity. The quality of our livestreaming worship, even in smaller synagogues, is excellent. Many congregants have grown accustomed to praying from the comfort of their couch.

A Liberatory Elul Journey

Yolanda Savage-Narva
The month before the High Holidays, Elul, is a time of spiritual preparation and t'shuvah. This year, as we conclude a Shmita, or sabbatical year, after focusing on taking time to pause, rest and reflect, I feel a sense of urgency and the need to act.

B'nai MItzvah (Bar and Bat Mitzvah) Tutoring: Pandemic Style

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
After two years of teaching remotely and watching far too many movies and television series on Netflix on the same computer screen I use to interact with these students, I wonder if I feel less connected to these "virtual" students than the hundreds of young people I taught in person over the past decades.

The URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual”

Rabbi Esther L. Lederman
Rabbi Leora Kaye
As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals. 

Vaccination: A Jewish Obligation

Rabbi Danny Burkeman

Initially, there was a rush for people to be able to get the vaccine. We waited anxiously for our group (health status, age, or profession) to be included in those eligible to book an appointment.

How to Observe Shavuot from Home This Year

Chaim Harrison
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted so much of how we engage Jewishly, but Shavuot is a fantastic holiday for families to celebrate from the safety of their homes. Here are a few ways you and your family can observe this rich, festive Jewish holiday this year.