President’s Post – February 2021

The Light Continues to Shine

Linda Rubin

Marla Shwarts

Our community is so brave and so enduring. We are in the midst of a challenging and fragile time and it is especially dark around us. We are overwhelmed with the demands of a quarantine to save lives, and yet we are surrounded by the loss of life. In these recent days we almost dread the content of an email from the TBE office that might share the news of another death and Zoom instructions. A part of the human spirit suggests we are eager to celebrate and yet we remain cautious and mindful of all that we cannot do in order to heal our wounds, to grieve, and to mourn. To reflect on the losses within our community and additionally the losses each of us is touched by with the deaths and illnesses of friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and so many others, is only a beginning to understand the gravity of our times. We have been deprived of the timeliness of our rituals, the need to wrap our arms around one another, and the opportunity to simply sit next to each other.

This gloomy interpretation of our current situation may very well be the backdrop to our daily lives, but surely the support from our clergy, our staff, and our community brings light to our current situation and although we are physically apart, we are especially close in spirit and our care for one another. It is our faith that originally brings us together in our Temple Beth El family and still remains a truth, but these days we are more united in our grief during this tragic and sad time. The distance between us is not a barrier, but rather a means to share our best selves as we maneuver these spaces to achieve emotional and spiritual camaraderie with one another.

Now is the time to remember the gratitude we have for what appears to be the unending strength of our clergy to lead us on our Jewish journeys and to assist us with our mourning. Without skipping a beat our clergy answers our calls, reaches out to us, helps us to mend our broken hearts, and guides us through this maze of pain and grief. Our spiritual leaders remind us of the lights in our lives with the birth of a new baby, the ongoing education of those who chose to convert, the youth who participate in learning opportunities, the involvement of our members who participate in improving the welcoming aspect of our congregation in order to be more inclusive, and our ever enriching social justice programs. Our clergy reminds us of our weekly holiday celebrations of Shabbat and Havdalah, our participation in the playfulness of Purim, and the spring holidays ahead.

Through this dark time, the light of Temple Beth El does continue to shine. We are really close even though we are physically apart. Each of us adds a spark of love and light to our TBE Family. Let us all be generous with our lights and share these lights with one another.