Friday, June 18, 2021

A pandemic paradox

I remember all too well what it was like last spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic closed down the country and the world.  I was terrified that my entire family was going to die--living in an apartment meant that, if one of us caught the Novel Coronavirus, all of us would get it.  My husband, our son, and I took turns shooting each other in the head--we bought a no-touch thermometer and were constantly aiming it at one another's foreheads, obsessively checking for fever at least once a day for months.  

Pesach (Passover) this year was Z'man Cheiruteinu, the Season of Our Freedom, for more reasons than one--not only had we been liberated from slavery in Egypt, we'd also all received our second COVID-19 vaccination shots by the middle of the holiday.  Two weeks later, we returned to in-person grocery shopping after shopping exclusively online for months, and we're now saving a fortune in delivery fees.  😀 

But, strange as it may sound, a few things will be lost in the return to "normal."  Much as I've sorely missed being able to sit in a room with a few people--or a few hundred people--and sing harmony, I'll also miss being able to go to a concert anywhere in the world.  This is also certainly the first time in my life that I've ever gone to two concerts in one night, or, in celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day), two concerts in one afternoon.  It's likely that the current practice of presenting so many concerts on Zoom or in a livestream will simply disappear as it becomes possible to attend in person--it's easier and cheaper to ditch the camera.  And I don't know whether the wonderful multi-part musical collaborations, with each musician (from whatever state or country) in their own Zoom box, will continue, either.  See below.  The musicians in this video are from all over the United States (and Canada?) and Israel.


The real loss for me, though, will be the loss of access to synagogue services in other synagogues.  I belong to a tiny congregation where there are rarely more than 18 people at services even when we're  holding them in person--when we hold our Zoom services on Shabbat (Sabbath) mornings, we usually get 12-15 people.  We're lucky if we get a minyan on Festival mornings, whether on Zoom or in person.  It's been a real pleasure to be able to davven (pray) on Erev Shabbat (Sabbath Eve/Friday night) anywhere in the Eastern Time Zone--we even have our favorites.  :)  We've even gotten daring a couple of times and gone west to Seattle.  :)  But our favorite minyan in Brooklyn has now returned to in-person-only services, so we can't attend anymore--the subway ride is about 1 3/4 hours each way.  :(

Odd as it may sound, COVID closed the doors to our homes but opened the doors to the rest of the world in ways that had never happened before.  Many new opportunities that we found online will vanish as the world returns to normal.  And I'm going to miss them.


Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Copied from Facebook:

Shira Salamone
Sam Blustin, @Ahavath Achim Synagogue [Atlanta, GA]; @Temple Beth Zion Brookline MA, @Kavod Boston, @Nariya [the monthly joint TBZ-Kavod Kabbalat Shabbat service]; @Romemu [New York City], @David Ingber, @Basya Schechter; Chava Mirel, @Temple De Hirsch Sinai [Seattle, WA]; Rokhl Wetter, Russ Agdern, @Shir HaMaalot [minyan in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, in New York City]; Barry Nostradamus Sher, @Miriam Harris, @Teletefila, [the joint @West Side Minyan and @Minyan Rimonim Zoom services and get-togethers, New York City], @Miriam Harris-Kaplan. (I have no idea why some of these tags aren't working. 🙁 )

Sun Jun 27, 06:14:00 PM 2021  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

That's *Rabbi* Sam Blustin, Associate Rabbi and Baal Tefillah (prayer leader) of Ahavath Achim, Atlanta; *Rabbi* David Ingber and *Cantor* Basya Schechter of Romemu in Manhattan, NYC. No disrespect intended--many people don't include their honorifics when they sign up for Facebook, so the "tags" don't include their honorifics.

Sun Jun 27, 06:18:00 PM 2021  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

These are a few of my favorite, er, shuls. (See previous comments.)

Sun Jun 27, 06:44:00 PM 2021  

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