Honorable Mensch-ion

Safe & Spiritual

Religion’s purpose is to feed our souls. Often, spiritual nourishment is achieved through physical contact, by showing up and being present in the moment, by filling a seat in the pews. Yet, these actions continue to be challenging in the wake of the spread of Coronavirus. How do we continue to celebrate in community while being physically isolated from each other?
The Midrash asks, “How come that Esther was privileged to rule over 127 provinces?” The answer, “Let Esther whose great-grandmother lived 127 years come and rule over 127 provinces.”
The Rabbis explain that other queens who reigned before Esther were ruled by their possessions. Esther put the ideals of her people before her personal ambitions. This made here the true spiritual heir of Sarah, the co-founder of our people. This past week has forced us to ask these same questions. Personal ambition is real. We want to be places and be part of something. Yet, we must put the needs of others before our own. Yes, it is a mitzvah to hear the megillah, but it is also a mitzvah to perform shmirat haguf, the guarding of our own physical body. Each decision we make is not only for us, but for others, both directly and indirectly. 
It is a true miracle, with the advent of technology, to see participation in community based mitzvot, even during troubling times. Facebook is advertising online minyanim, Facebook Live megillah readings, and video Talmud classes. We can be safe and spiritual all at once.

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