UHC re-imagines High Holy Days in the spirit of ‘pikuach nefesh’, sets virtual services

Continuing its practice that began in March with the onset of COVID-19, UHC will conduct virtual High Holidays services to welcome the New Year 5781, with Student Rabbi Emily Dana officiating via Zoom and congregants and guests joining from their homes in Terre Haute and around the country.

“This year will be like no other because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes UHC president Betsy Frank. “In fact, many are calling this a year of re-imagining the High Holy Days.

“No doubt our re-imagining brings mixed feelings, including feelings of grief. We know we cannot be together in our beautiful sanctuary. Yet, we know in our hearts that pikuach nefesh, a Hebrew term for “saving a life”, is a sacred Jewish value. Saving a life means no in-person services.”

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Viktor Frankl’s words provide guidance as we search for meaning in time of uncertainty

By Student Rabbi Remy Liverman

Early this year, we observed Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yorn HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day); all addressing tragedy and loss, as well as triumph over suffering and oppression, ending on a note of freedom.

Noting the duality in the way our tradition remembers the past, I considered the stark contrast of my current situation to that of a year earlier, when on Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron, I stood still on King David Street in Jerusalem as sirens blared for two minutes.

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UHC board reflects on eventful year, elects officers, plans for challenges ahead

By Terry Fear

As United Hebrew Congregation president Betsy Frank noted with her D’Var Torah during the Temple’s annual meeting July 19, we begin our countdown to the High Holy Days with The Book of Deuteronomy.

Another name for Deuteronomy is Mishneh Torah, or “Repetition of Torah”. In Deuteronomy, Moses leads the Israelites through a reflection on their journey as a free people preparing to enter the Promised Land.

Here at UHC, Betsy reminded us the annual meeting is a time for consideration of our past year’s congregational journey and preparation for the High Holy Days of 5781 and beyond.

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President’s report: virtual services, busy board help maintain Temple’s energy during Covid era

By Betsy Frank

The past year split abruptly into segments following two distinct realities — one pre-Covid and one post-Covid.

Before the middle of March, we worshipped weekly at the Temple. We celebrated monthly onegs when student rabbi Remy Liverman led services.

Religious school studied weekly under the capable leadership of Karen Harris with help from Debra Israel and Jennifer Garcia-Israel. Sisterhood gathered on the second Tuesday of each month, weather and health permitting.

Then, Boom! Zoom! A stay-at-home order changed everything.

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