As we head into Shabbat, I’ve been thinking about how to lay down the struggles of the week and enter into this sacred day when nothing has to be fixed, nothing perfected.
Earlier this week, my work shared an article with managers that encouraged all of us to lean into empathy as we continue to work by zoom, Microsoft teams, or whatever video platform we are using to connect with our co-workers and customers and contractors at this time. The article reminded us that everyone has sustained significant recent loss. Everyone is grieving. It may be grief over our changed life-circumstances, or having to forego the usual rites of passage and milestones – graduation, sending your child off to college, marriage, or a b’nei mitzvah, missing a wedding, or even missing a funeral.
Indeed, many of us are grieving our loved ones, and friends, and even public figures who have passed in 2020. The lives of Black men and women lost to police violence across our nation. The more than 187,000 individual people who have died from COVID in the U.S. alone.
There are very few people who haven’t been touched by profound loss during this time of isolation. Normally, we would be surrounded by members of our KHN community. People we know well or just met would be offering us comfort and a plate of food and a hug and a shoulder and a close in face-to-face simultenous talk. But, instead, we are by ourselves, separated in digital space from our precious minyan.
While reading this article, I was thinking about last Sunday’s meeting and my Kol HaNeshemah community and how not only are we all experiencing this, but on top of it we are struggling with saying goodbye to our Rabbi, and working on a rabbinic search, and here we are, well into the month of Elul, and preparing for Rosh Hashanah, and, and, and...we are going through it.
So, as we move through this time of reflection and repentance, I’m reminded that we are all imperfect people doing sacred work the best we can during these extraordinary times.
My prayer is that we continue through this journey together, that we can all have empathy, patience and kindness with each other, know that each of us is enough, and keep remembering that we are all just trying to do the best we can.
I will remember that I am doing the best I can. I will remember you are doing the best you can.
It seems only fitting that during this month of reflection the Transition Committee is inviting members to gather. To join in connecting with each another and sharing about where we each are personally on our journey from Rabbi Zari to a new rabbi, on COVID19, the West Seattle bridge closure, calls for justice in the nation, and other challenges facing our sacred community. My hope is that you will find time to join them at one of these opportunities for connection and reflection.
Please join them either on Thursday, September 10th 12pm-1:30pm or Sunday, September 13th 2:30-4pm. Look in next Tuesday’s weekly enews for more details.
I’m also hoping you will join us tonight for our Shabbat evening services, with Tot Shabbat led by Orin Reynolds at 5pm, Kabbalat Shabbat led by Eric Orlin with a pre-neg at 5:50/start at 6pm. Torah study, also led by Eric, begins tomorrow morning at 9:30am.
Finally, as we enter Shabbat, I offer a reminder: for these precious hours everything is as it should be. All of us are enough.