I can only imagine the stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, loneliness and worry that has filled your lives these last few weeks. Life at this time is as challenging as can be, and the best we can do is to hold onto hope. . .to trust that we will make it to the other side of this. . . and to know throughout that we are not alone. We are, as they say, “in this together." Our sense of connection with others at this time is a source of great strength, and one of the greatest sources of that connection for us at PSJC has been regular gatherings on Wednesday mornings (8am); Thursday evenings (7pm) for services and at various times throughout the week for classes for learning and connection. But no time offers more solace and more of a sense of connection than does Shabbat. Our Kabbalat Shabbat services (6:15-6:45 pm each Friday) and Havdalah gatherings (Saturday night) have served as beautiful bookends for the peacefulness of Shabbat, and seeing everyone in their own homes gives me great joy.
This week, in addition to resources in our PSJC Shabbat Box (available at www.virtualpsjc.org) we are adding a streamed Shabbat morning service beginning at 10am. This Zoom meeting will be opened up prior to Shabbat—so you can “join” as early as Friday evening before Shabbat (though nothing will be happening until 10am on Saturday—or, if you wish, you can start with us once the service begins. I know, for some, participating in a Zoom service on Shabbat itself will not feel comfortable (for that reason, we have made a point of gathering both just before and just after Shabbat and we will continue to have the resources available on our website). But I also know that in these time of serious physical distancing, it is particularly important for us to find alternative ways to connect—and to be together in prayer and community. So, if you are comfortable joining us this week, please just click on the zoom link on our website and we will pray together. We will do this for this week, and pick up again the Shabbat following Passover.
May this Shabbat prior to Pesach be one filled with community, peace, hope and healing for us all.
Rabbi Carie Carter