We hold in our hearts all who are serving our community to keep us safe, many at risk to their own lives:
those who keep the electricity on and the water flowing
those who provide food for our tables and healthcare for the sick
those who clean and repair and pick up the trash
those working in factories and transporting packages
those who are serving governments around the world in good faith
those developing new vaccines and treatments
those who help to keep the peace and to put out literal and figurative fires
those creatively adapting to teaching students and leading communities
those caring for the dying, the dead, and the bereaved
and those caring for children and elders.
We also hold in our hearts all for whom these times are particularly challenging:
those for whom sheltering at home is a danger
those who do not have a home
those who cannot go home
those who cannot visit with loved ones
those suffering from debilitating mental illness
those who have lost their sense of purpose
and those who are hungry.
The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. commands us to love the stranger as ourselves, to remember that we were strangers in the land of Egypt. Even as we shelter at home, may our love and acts of justice extend far beyond our households to support those in need of sustenance, protection, and healing.
May a Sukkat Shalom—a Shelter of Peace—spread over all of humanity. And we say, Amen