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It's Always Time for Thanks

02/02/2021 04:28:08 PM


It’s been a minute.
This rather quirky contemporary expression means its opposite.
When you [used to] run into someone on the sidewalk, if it had been a while since you’d seen each other, it’s what one of you might say to the other.
Really. It’s been a minute.
Time, many of us are experiencing, is doing funky things these days. When it comes to Jewish calendar time, that is always the case. There was Tu Bishvat, in cold, Ottawa January. Here comes Purim, and not many of us are feeling the dress-up feels, when [some of us are mostly wearing] sweatpants are the costume-du-jour. And – what? – Passover will be in March?!?
We lose track of time – another peculiar expression. Not many of us are likely to “forget to remember” that pandemic life [#pandemiclife] is entering its 11th month. We’re approaching an unbidden anniversary. While we in our community have adapted and embraced our capacity to connect virtually, some aspects of this global virus – the terribly high death toll, the disproportionate impact on already marginalized groups and peoples – offer nothing to celebrate.
Al achat kama vekhama – how much more so, the rabbis would say, when examining a particular passage or story, how much more so this because of that. Since it is true that so much in our midst is challenging, let’s really celebrate the good and the fun, be heartily grateful for our blessings, and generously thank those who give of themselves for others. Here are a few ORH-niks doing just that:
OUR TECH TEAM! With David M at the helm, members like Ken V, Carolyn W and Gary S have their hands on the wheel of our Zoom services, modestly perched behind our logo, screensharing like bosses.
OUR SHABBAT/MANY HANDS TEAM! Instead of shlepping siddurim to the table at the back of the room or bring all the Torah-reading paraphernalia to the bimah, folks like Karen B, Aviva H-S, Keith N, and Mike S have signed on to “admit” and “chat” away with the folks in our Zoom rooms.
OUR BOARD! We see their names in each newsletter, but that hardly conveys the scope of care and effort (AND learning AND amusement) your fellow-sister-companion members bring to the table.
SO MANY MORE OF YOU! Initiating and crafting our Instagram messages, forging a path of learning and action on anti-black racism, making ways to connect for holidays, checking in with messages of connection and friendship, singing at services, generating our fund-raising campaign, and more and more and more. Modim anachnu – WE THANK YOU!
Jewish practice is shaped in Jewish time and Jewish space. Where and when we gather shapes our traditions. What we are doing now – innovation by necessity – is nothing less than an extension of this continuously evolving thing that is the way the Jewish people do Judaism.
We sing about time limnot yameynu – count our days. These days count, big-time. The first times we see each other in person we may still say “it’s been a minute,” knowing it’s been much, much longer. Yet we’ll know that all of those minutes, weeks and months have been made so much more endurable, because each of you, each of us, counts.

Sun, 16 January 2022