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September 2021 Rabbi Arnow's Message

I am writing this in mid-August as I sit at my new (for me) desk in my still-new office. The Delta Variant is exploding, and despite vaccinations, we’ve put our masks back on to minimize risk. But we’re back to doing lots of things in person, including services on Shabbat and on the High Holidays (while still streaming too, of course).
A year ago, construction on our offices had not yet begun, and I was working from my old office in our old building. But more often than not, I was working from home, because last summer was still in the midst of the pandemic, with no vaccine available yet.
It’s so hard to know, or predict, or even imagine what a new year will bring for us—for any of us individually, or for all of us collectively.
Nonetheless, we can try to understand where it is that we are right now. And we can try to anticipate and plan for what the future might hold.
I anticipate that this year, we will settle into our new home. Plants, furniture, the end of construction for a while, b’nai mitzvah, holidays, meetings, celebrations—these are all happening and in the works. As a congregation, we’ll also be continuing to figure out what dimensions of our community will remain virtual and what will transition back to being in-person. We’ll continue to think about what we have learned and are still learning from the pandemic, and how we must change, and adapt. What should return to “normal,” and what “new normals” have been established?
It still feels like we are, in some way, living in a time that is not normal, that must at some point come to an end. We don’t know when that end will be though, nor do we know what it will look like—not for us as a nation, nor as individuals, nor as a congregation.
How do you think we should be adapting and changing to sustain ourselves during this time? How are we doing? What do you miss? And what do you actually not miss?
What I miss most of all is seeing so many of you so much more regularly than I do now. I hope, and pray that that is able to change soon, and that we will able to be together once again, unafraid.
May you be inscribed and sealed in the book of life.
Sun, June 16 2024 10 Sivan 5784