Better Prepared

We weren’t really prepared for Passover. Social distancing was too new. Synagogues were closed. Households made seders alone or over Zoom.

But we’ve had months of prep time for Rosh Hashanah, and we’ve seen a lot of creativity, both in homes and in synagogues.

Synagogues offered streaming services, in person services, or a combination thereof. Synagogues Zoomed, livestreamed, and/or prerecorded. Production companies were hired to improve quality. My synagogue offered in person services only, with both indoor and outdoor options. Facemasks and distancing were required. We had chairs set up in the sanctuary and social hall separated from each other by eight feet. The rabbi referred to the space as the “anti”-social hall.

On the Homefront, we had 15 people at our Friday night dinner. We ate outside with households seated at tables separated by eight feet. I heard from one family that ate in the garage with the door open to allow for airflow. I spoke with another family that enjoyed dinner in the kitchen while their guests ate in the dining room.

These are interesting times with no end in sight. Perhaps oxymoronically, creativity and adaptability seem to be the keys for preserving our traditions. With health and safety as our highest concerns, what else do we prioritize, and how do we get there in this new world? And, when it’s over, will we rush back to the old ways? Or, maybe we’ll like some of our new methods?

Shabbat shalom, shana tova, and g’mar chatima tova!

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