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necessity is the mother of invention

03/26/2020 10:18:15 AM

Mar26

Rabbi Dan Dorsch

If necessity truly is the mother of invention, I would say that we’ve seen that in full force this week.
 
Instead of broadcasting into your living room, news reporters are now broadcasting live from their living rooms. To the chagrin of most accountants, tax Season will now extend into mid-July. All of our favorite local joints that need our support--from Bagelicious to Capozzi’s--are offering curbside service.
 
Oh, and yes...Etz Chaim, as you may have noticed, has gone completely virtual too. Check out our website, www.etzchaim.net/livestream, and you will see a whole array of religious services, and an increasing number of classes and activities that you may do from the comfort of your own living room. With great appreciation to Debbie Deutsch, and all of our faculty, Religious School curricula have been sent home to our students, and our Preschool is conducting online classes. This past week, I conducted my first digital shiva minyan. With thanks to the Conservative Jewish Committee on Law and Standards, you may even--in this time of crisis (called sha’at hadechak)--recite the mourner’s kaddish over a digitally constituted platform.
 
Do I expect that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that shuls do business? Perhaps. I received more than one touching email from a homebound congregant who felt more connected to our community than ever before because of our live-stream. I must also say, it was lovely seeing so many faces join in to see Zev and I do Havdallah together after Shabbat. Who knew so many of you spent your Saturday nights on Facebook? Maybe, this is a sign of the times: with consideration to halacha, the Jewish world needs to get over its aversion to technology (it reminds me of being a camper at Ramah, when we were told that we couldn’t have air-conditioning in the bunks because it would “spoil us.”)
 
That said, I am truly looking forward to being in the same physical space as all of you. I miss you. I miss my bagel. A Zoom minyan may work wonders for now, but we all know that it’s truly not quite the same.
Fri, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780