Shabbat Shalom: Our beautiful, stubborn connectedness

Apr 17, 2020 | Article

Shabbat Shalom: Our beautiful, stubborn connectedness

Dear JEWISHcolorado family,

One of the ironies of the Age of COVID is the power it seems to have to generate clichés while at the same time being an event so unprecedented, so unfathomable in our up-until-now lived experience that it, in and of itself, defies being a cliché.
There is nothing banal about this moment, nothing conventional or average about it. There is no typical pandemic.
But there is something recognizably and deeply human—and, therefore, something clichéd—about what we are all experiencing. We hear it all the time: the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty, and when has this ever not been the case?
What we have lost isn’t any actual certainty; what we have lost is the illusion of certainty.
But we’ve gained something too. We’ve gained the certainty of our interdependence. We’ve gained the certainty that we are in each other’s hands, that we are our own better angels. Look at how we are weathering this storm together. Look at how we have refused to separate even though we are compelled to distance ourselves physically. Look at all the evidence of our beautiful and stubborn connectedness.
It is the gift of Shabbat—and of any moment of rest and contemplation—that it allows us the space to move outside ourselves, the quiet to hear each other, and the stillness necessary to acknowledge that we are all part of something larger.
This shabbat, embrace the thing we know for sure: we are one.

—Rabbi Jay Strear