Cantor’s Column – June 2020

Blessing of a Virtual Summer?

Cantor Ilan Davidson

As I write this article, the sun is shining on a glorious Southern California spring day, my family is sleeping safely in their rooms, I’ve spent some wonderful time with friends and colleagues, and, while it’s virtual, our work at the Temple marches onward, serving the community that we love. That said, my eldest daughter missed out on 2/3 of the experience of a lifetime in Israel, my children will not be going to camp, and our Israel experience, which was to be the first time for many, or at least the first time in a very long time for some, like my mother-in-law, has been postponed. So how do we find blessings in this pandemic-dictated summer ahead?

It is said that every cloud has a silver lining. For some of us, who have suffered loss during this time or watched close friends or family fight this virus over the past few months, the cloud is often too thick to see the silver lining through. For those who have been watching their children frustrated by the transition to on-line learning, it may be equally difficult, but I would argue that this is when we need to search even harder. If we become trapped in the cloud, we can never experience the blessings of slowing down, reaching out more, albeit virtually, participating more in learning or creative activities, for which we never seemed to find the time, or spending more personal time with our families.

As we consider all of the challenges we face as a community and individuals, entering into this summer, Temple Beth El will be here for you. If you haven’t yet experienced our virtual programs, carve out some time to study with Rabbi, meditate with Pam Tarlow, with Cantor Davidson & guests or learn some new favorite songs with my colleagues and me, in Cantor’s Corner. Join us for all of those Shabbat experiences you’ve been missing, because getting home from the office and getting to the Temple seemed too hard on a Friday night, or getting motivated to get up and come to TBE on Saturday morning was tough. If your child or teen is bored at home, encourage them to sign on and register for Virtual Camp Programs from URJ Camp Newman or URJ Six Points Si-Tech this summer, or just to get involved in the many children’s, youth, or teen programs we will offer over the summer, from Story Time with Cantor to Youth Games and Check-In each week, and many more programs which will be rolling out over the summer.

All the details aren’t ready to publish, yet, but as these programs come available, be encouraged to engage a little more in Temple Beth El’s offerings and encourage your children to spend some time with their TBE and URJ Camp families. Maybe you’ll find over the summer that you never knew what your kids were missing at camp, or that there are interesting things offered by the temple that your never experienced before. These could be our silver linings! These could be the blessings of our Virtual Summer.