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What Makes a Person “Holy”?

Dear Friend,

I hope you are managing as well as possible.  I continue to be inspired by your ability to be flexible and patient, as well as to adjust to our current situation.  Since Shelter-In-Place began about eight weeks ago, Congregation Beth David has found new ways to gather and to check in on one another.  It is clear that our community is strong, loving, and resilient.

Over the last few weeks, we have celebrated two Zoom B’nai Mitzvah with participants from all over the world, a Passover seder with nearly 200 people, a musical Kabbalat Shabbat with almost 200 people, in addition to our weekly Shabbat services and programs.  We have been conducting continuing and new adult education programs online, we have moved our Religious School online, and we are continuing to explore creative ways and opportunities to ‘get together.’

This past Shabbat, we read from the double-portion Acharei Mot – Kedoshim.  Parashat Kedoshim, which means holiness, contains the section of text known as the “holiness code.”  The Torah teaches us that we can be holy, because God is holy and we are created in God’s image.  When we treat each other kindly and fairly, we become holy.  When we love our neighbor as ourselves, we become holy.  I would add that when we call one another to make sure everyone is okay, we become holy.  When we Zoom together to celebrate, to pray, to study, and to socialize, we become holy.  Community keeps us connected, even when we are physically apart.  As we navigate the weeks ahead, I encourage you to stay active in your various communities.  At this time, it is so very important that we remain in touch.

I am looking forward to connecting with you!
Rabbi Jaymee Alpert