In helfman, Our Virtual Mishkan

Making it all real

“The Torah serves as a kind of wondrous looking glass in which we can simultaneously see the end of existence and our own reflection, and within that reflection not only are our outer facades visible but the image of our true inner selves as well.” – Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Reality is shifting, slowly, from behind a screen to include behind a mask encounters. Personally, this has been a difficult transition because I am not sure which is more real. I recently met someone for the first time in person but did not recognize them, though we had spoken for several hours previously. In the past, I had only seen their face and not the rest of their figure. And now, suddenly, I saw a body but no recognizable face.

This is going to be one of our struggles going forwards, convincing ourselves that both the screen and the mask are real, and they provide different views on the same people.

When you receive the HHD Bulletin and Ticket Packages, you will find many ideas from Rabbi Splansky about how to make these High Holy Days real. I want to take a moment to lift out two elements. One is only for our families, with a child 12 or older-  hands-on activities and honey will be waiting for you at Temple on the following days:

Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 10-3 pm
Thursday, Sept. 10 from 10-3 pm
Sunday, Sept. 13 from 10-3 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 10-3 pm
Thursday, Sept. 17 from 10-3 pm

Put one of these dates in your calendar now, so you’ll remember to come and pick them up.

Additionally, we’ll be able to gather in person on second-day Rosh Hashanah for a newly-popular ceremony of hearing the Shofar and throwing breadcrumbs into water  – Tashlich.  We’ll be meeting a the south-east corner of Marilyn Bell Park, with masks on, socially distant on Sunday, September 20, 2020, at 3:30 pm.  If more than 100 of us arrive, we’ll split into different groups, led by our clergy.

Our tradition provides us with a chance to look in, to look past the many guises that we put on in-person and on zoom, to find the true self. I hope that we are all able to make space and time for this inwards journey this year.


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