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Davening With Conflicting Emotions and Sefer Ezra: On the Return to Minyan

June 11, 2020, by

On Thursday, 6/4/20, Young Israel of Memphis (YIOM) held its first minyan since the coronavirus pandemic forced us to suspend all minyanim on Sunday, 3/15/20. Davening at this minyan was a powerful experience for all participants. YIOM thanks the hard-working committee that prepared protocols for this occasion. Of course, it’s impossible to plan for every

The Secret Unity of Jewish Twitter

May 27, 2020, by

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had dire effects on the world and will have lasting effects on the infrastructure of the Jewish community. Given the harsh financial reality, some Reform and Conservative congregations are considering consolidating. Many have wondered whether the denominational model that frames the Jewish community will evaporate all together. I am not

NY NCSY Responds to Pandemic Restrictions

May 21, 2020, by

Anyone who says “If you can’t do, teach,” hasn’t tried teaching. Education is an arduous undertaking that leaves little leeway for error. Whereas a failure in the business world costs money, one in the field of education costs futures. As we are all aware, the global pandemic that is the coronavirus has nearly stopped education

Six for Six : How the World Changed in Six Days

May 21, 2020, by

The actual state of Israel was established 72 years ago in 1948. However, the modern state of Israel as we know it, was launched in 1967. The six-day war was so revolutionary and so transformative, that in many ways, it was more groundbreaking than 1948. Thousands of years ago, G-d created our natural world in

An Open Letter From the Bottom of My Heart

May 21, 2020, by

To my dear, precious, and sacred Synagogue: For the last ten weeks I have missed you so. I have longed to be together with our shared friends, united in prayer in your sanctuary, joined in learning in your Beis Medrash, celebrating beautiful simchas in your social hall. I have yearned to bring our children to

Lone Johannesburg minyan, in old age home, names babies, says Kaddish for 1,200

April 30, 2020, by

Every day for years, a tight-knit group of 12-15 men has gathered for morning prayers at the red-carpeted, oak wood-furnished synagogue in their Sandringham Gardens residence for the Jewish elderly in Johannesburg. Since the advent of COVID-19, however, their prayers have taken on an additional resonance. With Sandringham Gardens having been locked down early, and

Empty Cemeteries and Jewish Sovereignty

April 29, 2020, by

I just returned from the Gush Etzion cemetery having attended a very unusual Yom Hazikaron ceremony. It was a discouraging but also a triumphant experience. Let me explain. My family often refers to me as a crybaby¬-and they are right. When I witness an emotionally poignant situation, I find it difficult to suppress my tears.