March 19, 2020
Good Morning, Westwood Kehilla Family,
I hope you are managing well.
Many of us are isolated. Perhaps we are bored. The things we are used to doing have been taken from us. We can no longer do them. We have been told to stay home as much as possible. Some of us have even been told that others should do our shopping for us. This is not easy.
My mother in law called today and told me that she came up with a new way to connect to her grandchildren. She is reading them books via FaceTime and she has a schedule of when each family is called. I think it is brilliant!
I think she has identified a challenge and come up with a solution.
The challenge is this:
G-d has given me more time than I know what do with. How should I use my time well? What are some creative things I can do so that:
a] I use my time well [avoid boredom];
and b] I connect with other people [so that I do not feel too isolated]?
Let's utilize both Torah and Chesed:
There is a so much to learn. Most people have a hard time finding the time to learn. All of a sudden, we have that time. But learning on your own can be boring. So learn with your spouse. Learn with a friend. Find a "Partners in Torah." Utilize technology [the telephone :)] or Skype to connect to someone you've always wanted to [re]connect with.
At least five people in your inner and outer circle can use a call, a text, or an email. You've got the time. Find the courage :)
We cannot connect to family in the usual way. Perhaps we won't be spending Pesach together. Focus on what you can do. Connect now, help your your children by connecting with your grandchildren. Read to your grandchildren, tell them stories or otherwise just check in with them. Call your siblings.
Essentially, my suggestion is this:
Let's make sure that we are in essence telling Hashem: "G-d, you have given me so much time. I am going to use it to serve You. I am going to make the most of it!"
Rabbi Avi Stewart
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Rabbi Avi Stewart
Rav of the Westwood Kehilla.