April 2020

Dear Friends,
As we round the corner into the week ahead, and Pesach/Passover, we do so in a highly unusual state. Largely confined to our homes, we enter the Festival of Freedom having lost so many of the freedoms we enjoy in our lives. As we prepare for the Passover celebration, and some for the Easter holiday, so many of us are facing having to celebrate without our loved ones and friends around the table with us. It is a disturbing reality. At the same time, I know that we are each trying to play our part in lessening the impact of this dread disease, this horrific plague that is sweeping our world.
At Sha’arei Shalom, we have begun to hold a weekly Sha’arei Shabbat each Friday night. It’s not our regular practice to gather each Shabbat. Yet, so little of our current existence is regular. We will continue these brief weekly Shabbat evening gatherings each Friday night at 7:30 – and I invite you to join us – and feel free to invite friends and neighbors to join as well. It’s surely not the same as being in the room together, but the songs, prayers and faces are creating a different kind of “sacred space” and “sacred time” which we all need.
Beginning this week, we will also offer a weekly “learning” or “discussion opportunity. The day and time will vary week-by-week to allow folks with different schedules to join as they wish to and as their own schedules allow. Again, feel free to invite others whom you think would benefit from the connection at this time of such radical physical disconnection. The first of these opportunities will be this coming Saturday, April 4th at 10:30 am when I will lead a session entitled, “As Shaky as a Fiddler on the Roof: Jewish Spiritual Resources for a Time of Challenge.”
You can click on the active links above for Friday night or the Shabbat morning learning session.
And, since Passover is a time to be with others, and so many will be alone, or nearly alone, I will be leading a Second Night Passover Happening for our community on Thursday evening, April 9th. Over Zoom we will connect our homes and our hearts to share a bit of the Passover experience. The gathering will begin at 5:15 pm and will end no later than 6:15 pm at which time we eat our Festival meal in our respective homes. Again, the link is active here. Please be sure to RSVP here so that we know you’ll be joining us!
Finally, our leadership has been attempting to connect with each and every household in our Sha’arei Shalom family. If you are elsewhere, please let us know how we can reach you – we want to know that everyone is safe – and to be helpful if you need assistance.
You can always contact me at gurver56@gmail.com, or our President at president@shaareishalom.org.
We pray that all will remain safe and healthy – and that this unique chapter in our lives will close soon, giving way to a brighter, healthier and better tomorrow.
Chag Sameach – from our home to your – all the best for a joyous holiday – and I hope to see you in our sacred Sha’arei Shalom Cyberhome in the days and weeks ahead.

Wishing you shalom!

Rabbi Eric