As our community begins celebrating this spring holiday season -a time when we would normally meet with family and friends and observe in different religious settings - unfortunately, there is simply no way that our holiday observances can resemble years past.
Social distancing, sheltering-in-place, and widespread anxiety are significant obstacles to embrace, especially during these holidays as they are meant as a time of joy and renewal. However, in these unprecedented and challenging times, it is important to be reminded that tenets of faith and religion are less about a physical space and more about community, tradition, charity, and empathy toward others.
The most empathetic thing that we can do right now is to care for our neighbors and our community the way that we would care for ourselves and our families.
Please do your part to protect your loved ones, neighbors, and the most vulnerable in our community by staying at home. Social Distancing is less about the distance between me and you and more about the possibility of one of us exposing someone… a loved one or a stranger… who cannot fight this illness.
Many of us are looking for something to celebrate and temporarily liberate us from these challenges and this fear. It is truly incredible that religious leaders all around the world are using technology to connect to their congregations and adapt their religious practices. We are distanced geographically, but are together in solidarity across belief systems and nations.
Regardless of how or if you observe these upcoming holidays, I urge you to take this time to reflect. These are challenging times, but we are an incredibly resilient community. A community made better because we are able to rely on each other. We shouldn’t let this pandemic hinder our ability to observe and welcome the spring; rather, with creativity, love, and defiance, we will temporarily adapt our rituals in order to protect the people that we love.