Rabbi James Prosnit
A couple of days after the storm I visited our congregant Midge Vas Nunes at the Jewish Home (still on generator power) who a few days earlier had celebrated her 100th birthday. In true Midge fashion, she made a reference to the Yiddish expression, “man plans, God laughs.” It was her reminder that we are not in as much control of things as we would like. Storms like this one really get our attention and make us feel so very vulnerable.
Both burdens and blessings emerge from such an event. So many stories of floodwaters damaging homes, uprooted trees causing destruction, and of course the ensuing power outages—but thankfully for most in our world the hardships will be temporary, the inconveniences while considerable will pass, homes will be repaired, trees replanted, and life will resume. On the positive side, I met neighbors down the street who have been living four houses away for three years whom I’ve never seen before. I learned that some of my neighbors own chain saws and know how to use them. And that neighbors who hunker down most of the time preferring back yard decks to front porches can when necessary face each other and work hard for the communal good.
The Power of Community
Here at B’nai Israel, how wonderful to note that congregants have looked after congregants, recognizing that someone elderly or frail might especially be in need of assistance. Quite a number of us stepped up and checked in, and the results have been incredibly reassuring. That’s the informal network of caring that I’m proud of and it is probably even more powerful than the more formal responses that stem from our TLC group.
The Friday night after the storm some of the prayers in the service took on special meaning, and the Shabbat dinner that followed where those with power provided a meal for those without proved a welcome and even joyous time. Such actions make us the community that we aspire to be.
How We Communicate
I learned also that there are things that we can and should be doing better to communicate with you. When our server went down we were unable to send out emails to the congregation. It was impossible to access the online temple directory, and the hard copy directory had very few cell phones listed so it was difficult to call folks and see how they were doing. Even when power was up, our system has few of those numbers available.
The Power of Facebook
The one social network that worked best was Facebook. People were able to access that from smartphones, so we were able to get messages out to some. In fact, when the generator that controls the sump pump was endanger of losing gasoline, Ira Wise put a message out over Facebook and three congregants stepped up and provided fuel. We’ve also been able to assist several congregants who have specific needs by getting the message out in that way.
So a few things are clear.
Rabbi James Prosnit
|We Invite you to Make Connections with
Our Community by...|
Learning | Doing | Reaching | Living | Searching
Contact Us | Calendar | What's New | Directions