We see everything around us through a coronavirus-colored lens these days, searching the past for clues about what is to come. This month, I'm using the rhyme about April showers and May flowers as an occasion for hope, seeing every holiday in May as part of this unfolding pandemic.
Is this happening because the future is now so uncertain? Am I more aware that every day might be my last? Such questions give us pause and make us take serious stock of our lives.
As fulfilling as it was to engage in Shavuot programs, a lot weighs on me. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage Black communities and racist violence all over the news, I almost feel like it’s Yom Kippur instead – the time when Jews are supposed to be most aware of their own mortality.
This week, I tell a friend I’d love to chat but actually I have to run Yom Kippur services are starting soon and I’ve got to repent for my sins before the gates are closed. She laughs. “Well, you’re gay, so you’ve definitely got a lot of repenting to do.”
The Reform Movement has come together to create a variety of digital experiences – including discussion, music, prayer, and poetry – designed to help you observe Shavuot from home or with your congregation in ways that are thoughtful, meaningful, and spiritually engaging.
If the High Holidays were to be pared down to their very essence, what are some words and phrases that might come to mind?
Belonging. Connection. Memory. An accounting of the soul.