A few words about re-entry . . .                                October 25, 2020

Are you starting to feel a little like Noah? 

You remember him – he’s the central character in this week’s Torah portion, and he and his immediate family were cooped up on the ark with all those animals. 

It must have been quite a relief for those eight people when it finally stopped raining after 40 days and 40 nights. I’m sure they were itching to get back to their regular lives. 

But that wasn’t the end – Noah’s family may have thought things were looking up, but after it stopped raining, it still took 150 days for the waters to start to recede, then another 150 days for them to actually go away. 

During all this time, Noah had access to the most modern data collection techniques: a raven and a dove. And after one scouting trip by the raven and three by the dove, Noah was starting to feel pretty good. 

But it still wasn’t over –

I’m sure they were getting antsy, but it was still two more weeks before Noah felt safe in removing the cover from the ark, and eight weeks after that before Noah and his family could finally leave the ark and go home. 

Does this sound familiar?

Here in Clearwater, COVID has kept us cooped up for seven months. We were forewarned, just like Noah, but it still hit us in ways we didn’t expect. And just when we thought things might be getting better, our own forecasting metrics told us we still have a long way to go. After all this time, some COVID fatigue is setting in. People in Florida and all over the country are tired of the restrictions and want to get back to normal.

We know that many of you were disappointed when we had to back away from our plan to open on a limited basis for in-person Shabbat services, and we share in that disappointment. But better days are ahead. 

Like Noah, we have to maintain a steady course, keep checking our indicators and trust in HaShem that one day this will all be over. 

Steve Shepard
Re-Entry Task Force Chair