MESSAGE FROM BETH SHALOM, BOZEMAN
Shalom, Beth Shalom and Friends:
The Hebrew word for crisis is Mashber, meaning “broken times or crisis.”
Historically, Mashber has been translated as a “birthing stool,” a specially-designed, semi-broken chair intended to assist a woman in posture and support during childbirth. In other words, this ostensibly misshapen, broken stool actually symbolized opportunity and new life, created despite the pain and strife of childbirth. We must not be broken down by this virus, this modern-day Mashber, but rather, we should meet the challenge and become a better community because of our resilience and our humanity.
We remain hopeful in the face of COVID-19 and its challenges to our lives, livelihood, education, social interactions, and congregation. Many thanks are due to Beth Shalom’s leadership for being proactive and cautious, and for putting plans in place to keep us connected. We will continue to follow the most current information on the virus, remain in contact and maintain our supportive community.
As your Rabbi, and your Jewish voice of Bozeman, please know that I am available to meet in person (six feet apart, of course!), online, by phone, or email, and am committed to offering support at anytime. Amber and I will lead the March 27 service from our Beth Shalom sanctuary, which will be streamed via Zoom. More instructions for accessing the service will be available Friday afternoon. Please plan to join our Zoom Shabbat.
On Thursday evening, March 26th, at 7:00 p.m., I will teach a Zoom class on how to lead a Passover Seder. Stay tuned for more specific information.
One balm for the anxiety we experience due to Coronavirus uncertainty is to feel the comfort and hopefulness expressed in prayer. I do my best to tap into this sacred capacity even when there is evidence to despair.
Here are prayers I speak and sing on these challenging days:
I pray that my family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and those unknown to me know good health.
I pray that all those helping the sick be free of illness and have strength to serve.
I pray leaders in government, industry and science be blessed with wisdom and compassion to make the best decisions.
I pray we find a vaccine soon and remedies for those already sickened by the virus.
I pray that during quarantines and limited social gatherings we remain connected to each other.
The Source of all that is good, send healing to the ill and weakened, eliminating the coronavirus from our midst.
When we gather for services, we recite the Mi Sheberach-Healing prayer.
Please recite the words with me: Bless those in need of healing with Refuah Shlaymah—the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit and let us say, Amen.
Let us be resolute, in the face of Mashber, in the time of COVID-19, to show our kindness and resiliency as a Temple, community and world.
Rabbi Mark Kula