Tonight begins the holy day of Shavuot. 7 weeks after our annual exodus from Egypt, we stand at Sinai to receive Torah anew.
The image I've always associated with this core collective memory is a throng of people at the base of the mountain. Adults are shoulder to shoulder, with babies held close and children grabbing onto a parent's hand or leg. We stand as one.
This year my mind envisions a similar but distinct scene with everyone, or at least family units, spaced 6 ft. apart. We stand together, but also apart.
So how might we bridge that space between us?
On this holiday often celebrated with all night study sessions, it's clear we are each learning so much life wisdom right now. An amazing amount of Torah is being revealed and received. The teachings may not be new, but we are seeing them with new clarity and holding onto them with new conviction.
PLEASE share your response to one of the questions above - either by replying to this email or through this form. I'll collect all the insights, and share them back.
Don't overthink. Do it now. Just one. It's Shavuot. Whether you're down the street in Larchmont, or a friend further away, share what's true for you. This will bridge that space between us.
This is how we stand together, and also apart.
This is how we put Jewish wisdom in dialogue with modern life.
This is how we create Sanctuary when we need it most.
Rabbi Bethie Miller writes periodic reflections on the state of our world and the Jewish project. She also writes about creative ideas for combining Jewish wisdom with our modern lives. Here are links to previous ones:
Looking for Hope at the Seder Table (4/13/22)
Happy 9th Night of Hanukkah (12/6/21)
The Healing is in the Return (8/18/21)
Time to Pray (11/2/20)
The Secret to At-One-Ment (9/27/20)
Taking a Sharp Left Turn into 5781 (9/15/20)
Waking Up One Day At Time (8/31/20)
This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared (8/18/20)
The Day is Short (6/16/20)
Spiritual Mountain Climbing Without Leaving the House (5/14/20)
Shabbat Peace, Love & Light (3/20/20)
Sources of Connection as We Practice Social Distancing (3/16/20)
Purim Has Never Felt So Resonant (3/9/20)
The Miracle of Chanukah (12/20/19)
To Be Jewish is To Be Grateful (12/2/19)
What I Learned During the High Holy Days (10/16/19)
New Year, New Project - Welcome to Sanctuary (10/3/19)