Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus Update March 23: Quar-Routine

From the Rabbi's Bunker

Hi Everyone.
Looking out at our first snow of the winter...on the fourth day of spring, and this deer was looking back at me, probably wondering what all the fuss is about and why the roads have been so quiet. Suddenly when I see a deer I don't recoil. Lyme disease seems almost quaint these days. I yearn for those nostalgic days of Lyme and West Nile, and that quiet place where the deer, the antelope and infected mosquitoes play.
I mean, really. THIS is what's outside my widow right now?

Meanwhile, we keep calm and carry on. Yesterday's Zoom Healing Service and Meet-Up was attended by about 40 people. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, as several shared personal stories of illness and loss, including relatives testing positive. We were all these to show support. We'll be doing more of those, but I think that as we settle in to what appears will be a long haul, we aim to create more of a routine, so as not to overload the senses and the circuits. So we'll aim to do the Zoom hangouts one or two times a week, and we'll try to schedule them at a time when many people who are working, including those working from home, can attend, and those dealing with distance schooling will also more likely be free - which means after 4, through the early evening.
For instance, on Tuesday (tomorrow), I'll be meeting with our adult B'nai Mitzvah class at 6 - their normal class time - and our JTS "Beyond Despiute" class will meet at 4. If you are interested in joining this session click hereIf you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click on the link above. The latest study text for the session, you can view and/or download the pages for printing at  We're on unit 5, "Who Wields Authority in Jewish Ritual?"
There are plenty of other classes you can take or Jewish lectures to hear on the web. For instance A jewishLIVE series hosted by Shai Held, of Hadar, and kicking off this afternoon at @3 pm EDT/12 pm PDT. Access this event by heading to's "Main Stage" (accessible by clicking the video screen on the home page of JewishLive, which has just gotten started, promises to be a real clearinghouse for quality learning opportunities.
Also, the Interfaith Council will be doing a healing service on Thursday at 7.   To access that on Zoom, click here. And next Tuesday, I'll be participating with Christian and Muslim clergy as we discuss how to approach the upcoming holidays.
Finally, I'll continue to send out these dispatches from the Hammerman bunker. I know how important they are. Yesterday's was opened 1866 times (676 unique opens), which is a lot for these emails, and that's been the case for the past week. But the missives will more likely come every second or third day, rather than daily, as we begin to settle into this routine. That said, please do continue to stay in touch, particularly those who are alone, or who feel especially vulnerable. We're all in this together!
Happy Spring!
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

In the midst of all this dreariness, some nice things...

- This note from the Food Bank:

From: <>
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2020 10:50 AM
To: Steven Lander <>
Subject: RE: Food Drive
I am so sorry for the delay in reporting.  You Temple collected an amazing 1,214 pounds of food.  Please extend The Food Bank's deepest gratitude to all who participated.  It was a wonderful day. 
- This is what was trending on Twitter yesterday:

And this is what Hebrew School now looks like (photo of our 5th graders)

- And this meme, that puts it all into perspective....

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