My mother died on Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath when Moses and the children of Israel sang while Miriam the Prophet led everyone in dance after crossing the sea to freedom.
Instead of walking into Beth David’s sanctuary and settling into the wooden pews, my husband and I perched next to each other in front of my MacBook Air and logged onto Zoom, a video conferencing tool.
Our ancestors turned to that pillar for strength and support in their time of waiting; so too, can we turn for help in these unprecedented times. Here is a prayer that might be recited as we light the Shabbat candles.
In this time of COVID-19, my mother will likely spend her upcoming 100th birthday sheltering at home with her caregiver. I asked her how this tsura (tragedy) is different from the time of Hitler.
Frankly, I was skeptical about attending services online – but it was the occasion of the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) for my wife’s brother, and this was our only option for respecting her wish to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish with our Jewish community.