How are you all doing? We are stuck in our houses except for occasional forays to the supermarket of the pharmacy and walks around the blocks. On the other hand, we all have a chance to get re-acquainted with our children, our spouses, and our domestic partners, but our dogs are needy. They are accustomed to our being out of the house hours at a time, but nowadays, when we go out on our own, the dogs get anxious until we come back.
We have been holding Shabbat services on Zoom. We held Pesach services on Zoom. We held two community seders on Zoom (which, incidentally, are among the best seders we all have intended). We hold Havdalah Zoom ceremonies every Saturday night. Except for Friday night, we count the omer every night on Zoom. For those of you who have not been attending the various Zoom meetings, I encourage you to join.
It is not about ritual observance. It is not about whether you are accustomed to celebrating Havdalah. It is not about whether you are accustomed to counting the omer. It is about an opportunity to see each other. When funerals are limited to three people (an officiant, a funeral director, and a family member), when high school and college graduations are cancelled, when wedding receptions are cancelled and you cannot see your parents in a nursing home, Zoom meetings, or Facetime, or Skype conversations are badly needed substitutes.
We require a minyan for certain prayers for a reason: Judaism is all about community. When we are prohibited to have an actual community, technology has enabled us to have virtual community. We want to see you. Join.