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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Temple counters social distancing with seder, Shabbat, Torah study via Zoom teleconference

By Betsy Frank

As I was thinking about a topic for this month, the title of one of my favorite novels came to mind, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Coronavirus is our modern-day cholera or plague. To say the least, we live in interesting times.

And these times call for creative ways to stay connected. We have begun to make those connections by purchasing a Zoom videoconferencing account for our Temple community.

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A mother’s guidance might have saved Joseph and his people from a whole lot of of tsuris

By Susan Kray

Judging by our ancient, sacred tradition, it seems possible that Joseph and his brothers and their families all wound up in Egypt evolving into a slave population for one reason: Joseph had grown up motherless.

Joseph was deprived of appropriate female influence. His mother Rachel died right after she gave birth to his little brother Benjamin.

As a result, Joseph grew up without proper female guidance. We all know what a mess that motherless boy made of his relationships to his brothers, a mess leading to generations of slavery.

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