This week we conclude the Book of Numbers, BaMidbar. It’s been a difficult journey to the Promised Land. Hunger, thirst, rebellions and various “plagues” have challenged this emerging nation. This closing Parsha continues to grapple with how to create a just, lawful and compassionate society. We honor the complexity of the enterprise.
As we conclude BaMidbar we affirmatively chant the words Khazak, Khazak, V’Nikhazek, “Be strong, be strong and let us strengthen each other.”
In a few days we enter the new Hebrew month of Av. Now, four months since we began isolating ourselves and restricting our movements, we must continue to be strong and to strengthen each other. The virus has revealed much about the social inequities in our society and we have learned much about ourselves, our own biases and ignorance on many issues. Many of us have become more reflective, resilient and creative. We have wedded ourselves to Zoom and other ways of learning and communicating. Many of us have become stronger advocates and activists for social justice.
In two months, we face the High Holidays. This will be a Rosh Hashanah as we’ve never experienced before. We will not gather at our usual places of assembly and prayer. Am Kolel and Kehila members and friends will not gather at Walter Johnson High School.
The High Holidays Committee has been meeting and we have decided to livestream our services. We are exploring which platform to use and have engaged Tonal Park and Charlie Pilzer to manage our audio and visual needs. The musicians and I will lead services from Charlie’s studio with all needed precautions, and with our banners and ark. Others service readers and leaders will be at home and unmuted for their parts in the services, including our shofar blowers! The youth services will also be livestreamed. There will be opportunities for break out meetings. By mid-August you will receive more information about how to register for services.
Please feel free to email me with questions or any suggestions as we move forward into the future. Khazak Khazak V’Nitkhazek! Reb David