Dear Friends,

As Shabbat approaches I want to begin by thanking all of you for your understanding and support for the decision by our Board of Directors to shut the building effective last night. The current closure is in effect until March 29. At that time we will assess next steps.

Many years ago my teacher and thesis advisor Rabbi Laurence Kushner wrote a book entitled, “Invisible Lines of Connection.” It is an excellent book whose title captures a great truth- we may not see the myriad ways in which we are connected but that does not mean they are not there. That truth has become clearer than ever in recent days. We are connected- not just within our synagogue, not just within our community but, ultimately, all people everywhere are connected one to the next. The irony, of course, is that the current “proof” of our connection also requires us to stay away from one another to the greatest extent possible. But while that is the case for the time being, it does not make the wisdom of Rabbi Kushner’s words any less meaningful. We are all connected one to the next.

In the days to come we will be required to find creative ways to maintain this connection. I have every confidence we will.

In the meantime, beginning this evening Shabbat services will be streamed each Friday evening at 6pm. You can find the stream at TSTI.org. Click on “Watch from Home” and select Gellis-Green Chapel. Please do not come to the building for services.

In addition, we will be holding a number of opportunities to connect remotely. This Shabbat they include:

Topic: Torah Study
Time: Mar 14, 2020 08:30 AM Eastern Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/911310759?pwd=L0kyb2F6aTg2dHZiVUNKQXJ4UkltUT09

Meeting ID: 911 310 759
Password: 047724

One tap mobile
+16468769923,,911310759# US (New York)
Dial by your location +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 911 310 759

Topic: Virtual Havdalah
Time: Mar 14, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/454871403?pwd=cHVYMmtxc2c5U09vTWdyZXJId29IZz09

Meeting ID: 454 871 403
Password: 582965

One tap mobile
+16468769923,,454871403# US (New York)

Dial by your location +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 454 871 403

Topic: Melton Class
Time: Mar 18, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/582199494?pwd=Nko1UU1qbjExSVp5TDlEUVJDeXlQUT09

Meeting ID: 582 199 494
Password: 553966

One tap mobile
+16468769923,,582199494# US (New York)

Dial by your location +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 582 199 494

Finally, let me end this message with words from Reverend Lynn Unger who wrote:

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider Shabbat-
The most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
center down.

And when your body has become still,
Reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
In ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
Are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has become clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
Of compassion that move, invisibly,
Where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love-
For better or for worse,
In sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Daniel Cohen