Sunday, March 29, 2020

Coronavirus Update March 29

From the Rabbi's Bunker

Time to set my eyes beyond the bunker and look at the tremendous love being shared all over this world.  I know this church very well - right at the bottom of College Hill in Providence.  Right now Rhode Island is getting some bad press for keeping out New Yorkers - but look at the website of the First Baptist Church and you'll find this message, along with the quote from Lamentations that appears below it...

As you shelter in place, pray and sing. Pass the peace by connecting with one another by phone, computer and cards. Needs in our community and world continue.... Receive this time of stillness as a form of individual and collective sabbath.
But in my mind I keep returning to something,
something that gives me hope -
that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,
that God's compassion has not ended.
[On the contrary,] they are new every morning!
How great your faithfulness!
"Adonai is all I have," I say;
"therefore I will put my hope in God.
Lamentations 3:21-24

If you are in need of a lift, this will help
"You Will Be Found" Virtual Choir | DEAR EVAN HANSEN

- Join us at 1 PM for a Healing & Hangout Zoom session with Katie Kaplan and myself, where we'll begin with a few healing prayers, and then time for free flowing.  The Zoom link  is
Meeting ID: 866 408 956 Telephone: (646) 558-8656

- Also note the request for a guaranteed Virtual Minyan for yahrzeit
Monday at 1 PM -

A few photos
Thanks to Kenneth J. Cohen for Friday night screen shots


Today, with our 7th graders:

Our Kiwi friends are back at it, with the goal of putting smiles on the faces of children

Even the corporate world is promoting social distancing
Love conquers all in Fiji

The virus does not play favorites...

How about a Passover Song Mashup for your DIY Seder?

Passover Songs Mashup - Dance Spectacular! - Elliot Dvorin | Key Tov Orchestra - שירי פסח
Passover Songs Mashup - Dance Spectacular! - Elliot Dvorin | Key Tov Orchestra - שירי פסח

Some Recommended Reading

We enjoyed the first two episodes last night on Netflix. Worth watching!
The coronavirus brings out the worst in people -
Alabama's Virus Ventilator Plan Latest to Draw Ire of Disabled (Bloomberg Law) A group of nonprofits advocating for the disabled filed a federal complaint over Alabama's new plan to ration ventilators in the wake of Covid-19. The complaint outlines concerns that the Alabama Department of Public Health's Emergency Operations Plan for addressing ventilator rationing in the event of a health emergency will discriminate against those with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. The groups, including the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program and The Arc of the United States, filed the complaint on Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.
This is reprehensible - almost as bad as a leader holding back needed aid to a desperate state until its governor expresses fealty.
- and the best....
8 acts of kindness: Stories of good deeds during a pandemic (The Lily) We hope these will make you smile.
This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.
People who are surviving violence in their relationships and families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the Coronavirus pandemic. Remember - you are not alone!

Stand Against Hatred - Resources in response to hate and racism directed toward Asian Americans related to the coronavirus or COVID-19.

On Being: A Care Package for Uncertain Times
 A collection of podcasts and poetry for however you're processing this moment.

Writing Time: An American Novelist Confronts the Question of How to Fill the Hours, Fictional and Otherwise - (Gwyneth Kelley, The American Scholar) - "I know that this period of isolation and pandemic has only just begun, and that eventually I will write again. Writing is how I contemplate all my questions about life. It's just that now I mostly contemplate the walls of my own apartment, and the only questions I have are: Is someone in my family going to die? How many people are going to lose their jobs? When will I be able to hang out in a crowd? Suddenly the things I used to write about no longer seem important or even real. The world is changed, I am changed, and I do not yet know how that will express itself in my work."

Partners in Torah: Personalized Jewish Learning Learn any Jewish topic with a mentor of your choice.

And if you are for some reason in a hurry......

All Jewish History in Under 18 Minutes
All Jewish History in Under 18 Minutes

How to Spend the Time (Dahlia Lithwick - Slate) It is better to be grateful than to pronounce yourself lucky, and other lessons from quarantine.
"I really never quite liked it when Michelle Obama reminded us that when they go low, we have to go high. I guess because I am so unutterably tired of being punched in the knees. But now is the time to learn about going as high as you can, because that is the hardest thing when you're terrified. Today we will learn that someone else is sick and someone died, and we will want to spend time curled up in bed crying. And that is an excellent place to be. And then, as we're seeing in this slow-roll Viktor Frankl human makeover, we will find purpose, find something to do, some cart to lash our ox to, even if we are not on the streets saving lives. I am spending my time trying to be the shadows and the echoes of the people I see spending their time with purpose and courage. And that's all I have time for just now."

In the midst of these challenging and uncertain times we hope that you are staying safe and wish you continued strength and good health. During these difficult days, where we find ourselves in an unfamiliar new reality commanded by social distancing and isolation, we invite you to take this opportunity to explore Yad Vashem's online resources, including video content, free online courses and online exhibitions. These resources utilize materials from our extensive archives and resources, and the latest in Holocaust research and pedagogy aimed at helping you broaden your knowledge on the subject, with the flexibility offered by online study. 
What is the Holocaust Part 1/7: Introduction
What is the Holocaust Part 1/7: Introduction

Stay well and Stay Home - and see you at 1 PM

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

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