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  • R. L. and A. K. Wedding

    These images come from a wedding in Englewood, New Jersey. COVID-19 related changes included masked chasen’s tisch, dancing with ropes to stay separated, hand sanitizers, and masks as swag. The band performing at the reception were completely unmasked, but the bride and groom wore masks as they danced together.
  • Coronavirus Eli Tziyon

    This is a kinah (dirge) for Tisha B'Av (9th of Av) that laments the great suffering endured by the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows the structure of Eli Tziyon (Wail, O Zion), a medieval poem that mourns the destruction of the Temple. In that poem, the pain of the destruction is compared to that of a young widow grieving and of a woman in labor. In this version, Tziyon serves as a stand-in for the suffering of both the Jewish community and the world during the pandemic. The central image here is of a lonely Torah scroll sitting in an ark, unread, which reflects the isolation and sadness many have experienced over these months. The rest of the poem follows the Hebrew acrostic structure of the original with an aspect of the pandemic associated with each letter. This version is not meant as a final word on Covid. In fact, we'd love for it to be an invitation to write your own verses, and even poems, about the pandemic. We hope this video will be a meaningful contribution to Jewish communities' commemoration of Tisha B'Av on Wednesday night, July 29th through Thursday, July 30th. Contains (electronic) instrumental music. Credits: Written by Daniel Olson and Rabbi Ben Goldberg Editorial Consulting by Rabbi Jonah Rank Sung by Daniel Olson
  • Seder Plate for Virtual Seder

    Seder plate for virtual Seder. Contributor Karen Levi drew items she couldn't get at height of Pandemic fear.
  • Healing Heartbreak

    Jewish religion heavily honors life cycle events as a way to guide practitioners through a moral, spiritual, and meaningful journey. When I was first informed of my 50-year-old uncle’s sudden death from a heart attack, I was in disbelief. How could such an incredible athlete with an admirable diet and a healthy lifestyle die from such a complication? Mike was the most intelligent and humble man I have ever known, pouring all of his heart into his children, his wife, his clients and anyone who had the privilege of meeting him. Most importantly, Mike embodied the Jewish community. After Mike’s passing, my aunt received deeply heartfelt emails from more people than imaginable. Mike continues to unite the sense of a Jewish community through his memory. When a Jewish person passes, it is custom that the funeral service and burial quickly follow to best preserve and honor the body. When the mourners return home from the funeral, the shiva - a formal, seven-day Jewish mourning - begins. The shiva serves to bring together the Jewish community in mourning and in celebration of the life of the deceased. The Jewish people were never instructed on how to properly mourn during a worldwide pandemic. Nonetheless, Mike’s wisdom surpassed precedent. Our extended family and friends gathered online to say the mourner’s kaddish, which does not mention death but rather asks God to pray for the souls of the deceased. Mimicking the environment of a shiva house, many people then shared stories of Mike, allowing for both cries and soft laughter to be heard. Mike’s memory joined family and friends from all across the nation, creating a sense of community and comfort that we all so deeply miss during this time of isolation. I know Mike will continue to embrace and uplift the Jewish community through his memory for years to come.
  • Minyan in Brooklyn, Photograph by Jacob Kornbluh

    Orthodox Jewish minyan, March 17, 2020