ב״ה
March 27, 2020
Dear Friends,

I pray that this email finds you healthy and strong in spirit. 
Like many of you, I miss the regular and physical interaction with people, outside of the house. On the other hand, I feel some kind of special feeling of closeness with many people, in a way even more than under normal circumstances.

Let us use these days to become better and softer people, more open and sensitive to the needs of others.
Let us make this Shabbat a bit more spiritual and shabbat-like than ever. I'm sure it will only bring more blessings to the world.

Click here for a Friday Night user guide
Click here for a Shabbat Day user guide
Corona Resources and Inspiration here

Join us once again for a lively Havdallah Service after Shabbat tomorrow night, on Zoom
at 20:00 (click here)

We are Socially Distant, but Spiritually Close. 

Rivky and the children join me in wishing you a joyful and spiritual Shabbat,

Rabbi Chaim







Ursula Stämmer-Horst
1958-2020
After an illness of just a few months, our dear friend, Mrs. Ursula Stämmer-Horst passed away last week. She was a member of the city council of Luzern, and during her position, as well as afterwards, was always ready to help; be it a communal or personal matter.
She was also the president of the Schweiz-Israel Association, and will always be remembered for her wisdom, her happy nature, and her countless good deeds for the greater society.
In the picture: Mrs. Stämmer participating in our public Menorah Lighting at the station square in Luzern as a member of the city council.
Upcoming Events
CORONA special ZOOM Clases:

Havdalah Service:
Saturday, March 21 at 19:45 ( link )


Live Video Class (daily):
"Coffee with the Rabbi" daily at 10:30am. 
Join by downloading the Zoom App and then clicking on this link



KIDS club Classes:
All classes will take place online. Parents will receive direct messages.

Jewish Humour
Shira Fried was in charge of the kids Shabbat program at Congregation Beth Israel. She was teaching the kids about decorum in shul and why it was so important. So she took them up to the main sanctuary at the very back to give her lesson up close.
 
“Why is it necessary to be quiet in shul, especially now during Rabbi Eisen’s sermon?" Shira asked.
 
Little Rivka Deutch whispered, "Because people are sleeping."

The Shmura Matza arrived in Luzern!

International
London UK
Volunteer coordinator Dana Brass and Rabbi Bentzi Sudak of Chabad-Lubavitch of Hampstead Garden Suburb in London, which delivered 100 Shabbat care packages to elderly or vulnerable Jewish community members.
Menachem’s Guide to Surviving Isolation or Quarantine


As more and more of us are heading into isolation, whether due to actual infection or out of caution, we are facing the prospect of spending days upon days with little or no face-to-face social interaction. 
G‑d made us humans social. Sure we like time alone (introverts raise your hands!), but we are not programmed to exist in a vacuum. To quote G‑d Himself, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
So how are we going to make it through what may be a rough few weeks? Here are some personal tips and hacks I hope you’ll find useful.


Be Grateful
A friend pointed out that quarantine has never been quite as pleasant as it is for us today. The miracles of refrigeration, telecommunication, and modern heating mean that the vast majority of us are spending our alone time in a warm and brightly-lit home, with unlimited access to information and virtual socialization, and a supply of fresh, healthy food we can prepare with relative ease. 
A few generations ago, this would have been unthinkable. 
In fact, we would probably not even know that the virus existed in the first place until we found ourselves sick. Thank G‑d, we know that there is a dangerous virus spreading around the earth and our medical community has the information we need to protect ourselves and our neighbors.
And perhaps even more important: Many of us are able to work remotely, remaining productive and helpful to others even in isolation. 
What a blessing! No commute. Stay among the people you love the most. Work in your own private space.


Pray Regularly
Jewish prayer is traditionally communal, with a quorum of 10 men. But what are we to do when we cannot make it to the synagogue (or if the synagogues have been closed)? This was the exact quandary faced by the  prophet Daniel  when King Darius outlawed praying to G‑d. What did he do? “And Daniel, when he knew that a writ had been inscribed, came to his house, where there were open windows in his upper chamber, opposite Jerusalem, and three times a day he kneeled on his knees and prayed and offered thanks before his G‑d just as he had done prior to this.”
No matter where we are in the world, we can turn toward Jerusalem and pray. Wondering when to hold services? Actually, the best time to do so is at the same time as your local congregation (if they are still holding prayers). That way, you’re praying in tandem, even though you cannot see each other.
If you do not have a Siddur at home, ask your local Chabad rabbi about getting one, or download the  Siddur App  (to use every day except Shabbat).


Open the Windows
While Jews do not make it a point to pray with an open window facing Jerusalem like Daniel, opening the windows while quarantined is important. 
Letting in some sunshine and getting a peek at the outside world can do wonders for what may be an otherwise gray existence. And when the weather permits, fresh air is healthy for your mood as well as your physical health. 
Friends and relatives may even come to visit you from outside those windows (if that is allowed where you live). Yes, it can feel a little like a penitentiary visit—but it’s still refreshing. Place a bench and/or chairs out there for them to sit down.

Pick Up the Phone!
Our generation has been blessed with the ability to converse with (and even see!) family and friends all over the world. Make calling others part of your daily routine. 
You can be sure that just as you enjoy the connection and togetherness that a phone call engenders, you are bringing that same pleasure to whoever is on the other end of the line. 


Learn Torah
Chatting is great and important, but you can make your phone calls all the more meaningful if you use some of the time to learn Torah together. You can use your time to read an article or study something on Chabad.org, or you perhaps read from any Torah book you both have (or can access online).
Don’t have anyone to learn with? Sign up to be matched with an over-the-phone Torah-study partner with common interests, language, and schedule.


Give Charity
We humans need to be needed. But what to do when you are far from others? You give charity.
Isaiah, the great prophet of peace, compared giving charity to donning a suit of armor. Each contribution you make, no matter how small, provides a shield of protection against illness. Likewise, the Book of Proverbs tells us that “charity saves from death.”
Even if you cannot go out and do favors for others at the moment, you can designate funds to be used for that purpose. Put a coin in a charity box every weekday and an additional one before Shabbat candle-lighting on Friday afternoons. Don’t have cash on hand? Today, most charities collect online. There are even apps for giving, including ones that direct funds to Jewish charities.


Savor a Hot Drink
I am not sure why this made it to my list, but it seems to fit right in. As one who works alone for most of the day, I know firsthand that a soothing, hot drink can become a wonderful experience, something to savor and uplift the grayest afternoons. 
And besides, keeping hydrated is one of the recommendations for fortifying ourselves against infection. 
Oh, and before you take that first sip, say the blessing, in which we acknowledge G‑d, “by Whose word all things came to be.”


Listen to Music
Music is a powerful pick-me-up and can help fill the emptiness of a quiet house. Chassidic music speaks to the soul in a special way, ranging from upbeat to pensive, and always soulful. Looking for a stream of curated tracks? We’ve got you covered!


Create a Routine and Stick to It
When Moses ascended Mount Sinai for 40 days, he didn’t eat or drink, and he certainly didn’t have any human contact. Yet the sages tell us he kept track of the passage of days by listening to the praises sung by the angels.5
After days and weeks in isolation, it’s easy to feel like you are on a never-ending hamster wheel. It can be helpful to designate landmarks to demarcate the passing of time and give you something to look forward to.
So plan in advance. Decide what time you’ll pray, when you’ll have your meals, when you’ll study Torah, take a nap, etc., so that one day does not bleed seamlessly into the next.
Also make yourself a calendar, on which you can mark off Shabbat, Jewish birthdays, and even Passover (yes Passover is coming!).


Exercise Your Positivity Muscles
Medical experts and Chassidic masters all agree that staying positive and full of faith can help you maintain your good health, keep up your immune system and even recover more quickly from illness.
Upping our happiness is an art, one that we can learn and perfect with practice and patience.
Not sure where to start? Here are two simple steps:
  1. Tell yourself: Everything is in G‑d’s hands; He loves me, and I am going to be OK.
  2. Now smile.
Repeat as often as necessary.


Get Ready for Passover
You may not have been planning to spend Passover at home, or perhaps you were. Regardless, if you will be home for Passover, spend some time now to get yourself and your home ready. Give the house a deep clean (which is probably a good idea from a medical perspective in any case), make online orders for Passover supplies (as we are learning, earlier is better), and start converting your house into a Passover home. 


Remember: You Are Never Alone
Even when there is no one to call and no one to chat with, remember that there is Someone watching over you, a Being who is intimately aware of your struggles and your suffering. He cares about you and is watching over you. 

More about the Parasha ( EN / DE )
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