“Time takes on a boundary of before and after COVID,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. “We read in Psalm 90: ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may have a heart of wisdom.’ When we number our days, we reflect upon and absorb the significance of our experiences.”
“How will you tell your story of this time?” asks Rabbi Samantha Natov. “Recounting our stories is no small affair. Although its general trajectory may not change, the act of retelling allows us to reshape its meaning, uncover new understandings — and look forward to the next chapter with a sense of hope.”
“Our homes have become our gyms, schools, offices, theaters, restaurants and more,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. “Judaism teaches that now, at this moment of unprecedented chaos, is when we most need to get organized. When we put our thoughts in order, we gain a sense of composure. Ultimately, this work is spiritual as well.”
“Elijah found God in a quiet moment after destruction and chaos,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. “Jewish history and Jewish beliefs compel us to not allow ourselves to become shrouded in despair. Rather, to persevere — to remain open, as our ancestors had — to walk through dark times holding up a torch of hope.”
In this week’s parashah, God rejects Miriam and Aaron’s bias against Moses’ dark-skinned Cushite wife. “The message is clear,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. “We are equal before God, regardless of the color of our skin. We need to recognize our own racial biases and start the work of change.