Dear Temple Family,
As we enter the second week since the Temple has been closed. Governor Bell Edwards issued a stay at home order for our state. This is serious. Louisiana is now experiencing the fastest COVID-19 increase in the world. Please encourage all your friends, family and neighbors to remain at home. The lives of our health care workers and community depends on your cooperation.
In this time of uncertainty, it is even more important to lean on our faith. We will be meeting again for Shabbat services at 6 pm over Zoom. Let us all join together in lighting our Shabbat candles, blessing the “fruit of the vine”, and saying “Motzi” over bread.
Last Shabbat, even with a few technology challenges, we had 25 different households online joining us for Shabbat. This past Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of chatting over Zoom with our Kehillah High students. We ate snacks and shared stories of our days at home. We had 100% attendance and planned to meet up again next week.
Speaking of next week, I am planning to host a Zoom Hebrew school learning day, Torah study for adults, and celebrating Havdalah Saturday evening. Please check your emails for your Zoom invitations and time schedule.
I am also working on a PDF Temple Haggadah for a Seder Service over Zoom. This Haggadah can be followed on the screen or printed out. We are planning to hold our community seder on Thursday, April 9th online. This will be a learning experience for us all. I ordered Matzoh from the Temple to you. I will be sending an email about picking up your boxes. Also, if anyone would like to share some of your seder recipes, please email me and we will share them in our bulletin.
Let us take a moment to pray for those "essential workers" who are at work outside of the home. Your sacrifices caring for the sick, preparing food and stocking our groceries and pharmacies allow our world to function. You are greatly appreciated, and so, in your honor I share this poem by Cameron Wiggins Bellm.
May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May those who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May those who have the flexibility to care for our children when schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel a trip remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May those who settle for quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
I am committed to supporting our entire community even when we cannot be close to each other physically. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. We are in this together. Let us choose love during this time and wrap our arms around each other. Let us find ways to reach out and phone our family and neighbors. If you are in need of anything, please, let me know what I can do to help.
Rabbi Raina Siroty