By now not only am I a Zoom-Maven, I’m also Zoom-Weary. A recent NY Times article, Why Zoom is Terrible,* likened our new virtual way of being with one another to a blueberry muffin mix “that contains not a single blueberry but artificial flavors, textures and preservatives … eat too many and you’re not going to feel very good”. Yet this is how we are about to start our new relationship. No challah together. No Adon Olam together. No schmoozing together. No being together, not really … at least not the way we wish we could.
As we begin our year together, I am driven to find a meaningful answer to the following question: How do we learn to show up for one another without being able to show up for one another? Just as you all have been figuring it out at TRT, so have I with my Baltimore congregation, which I leave after two years for Marlboro at the end of June. And knowing what I have come to know about TRT’s resilience, we will figure out how to build a meaningful connection with one another along with these new challenges.
Please know how deeply I respect the profound bond and deep regard that you and Rabbi Weber so naturally share with one another. Please know that he has been generous of spirit in everything he and I have shared. Now, along with your lay leaders, Cantor Lisa Levine and I are focused on creating a meaningful High Holy Day experience for our new congregation. As with so many things, that starts with listening and learning about what gives heart to the TRT worship experience. We’re not starting from scratch; finding a way to bring TRT’s special sauce into your homes is our challenge.
Please know that I look forward to being with you any way that I can. As Rabbi Yitzchak of Berditchev said: All of life is a narrow bridge, and the essence of crossing is not to be overwhelmed by fear. Of course, there is something fearful in the very air of this pandemic. Yet even as we are so new to one another, I have faith that we will learn how to cross this bridge together.
Rabbi Marc Disick