Today is a special day. Today is September 1, 2020 and today is the day that ShalomAtHome.org is official. You are reading what I hope is the first of many blog articles to be seen on this site. Thank you. If you are reading this, then you can see the potential for greatness. We are hoping that today, and in the days going forward, that you and people like you will understand the need for religion. It plays such a large part in our lives. It gives us ethics, morals, traditions, faith, hope, and community. It provides so much of what we as society need. For centuries, it was part of everyday life, but recently, it has become harder and harder to keep in our hearts on a day to day basis. We are hoping that ShalomAtHome.org will change that.
Over the next few weeks, we will begin by offering Shabbat and High Holiday services. We want you to join us. We want you to tell your family and have them join us. We want you to tell your friends and have them join us. We want you to spread the word via emails and social media. We want to create an available online community where everyone feels welcome. We want to create an open and safe space to share religion, prayer, music, holidays and traditions.
It is our goal to compile content from a variety of sources, new and old, to create a true online religious experience. Young, old, beginner, advanced, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, all are welcome. Our hope is that through a combination of live experiences, like Zoom services, classes, meetings, and groups, and recorded or archived programming, there is something for everyone.
We are currently in an unprecedented time, and all seems new and different, but that has happened in one way or another for thousands of years. The old joke about Jewish Holidays...they tried to kill us, we won, let's eat..seems so silly, but rings so true. We have battled adversary in some form or another our whole existence. Currently, the pandemic makes it difficult for us to be together in person, but we can still be together separately. We can use technology to bring us together relatively easily. We have found during these times, that that is the new normal. This is the time to take that shift and use it to bring religion to those who have not had access. This is the time to make religion available multi-generationally and remotely. There are so many families out there that consist of a parent or parents, perhaps in an independent living facility in Florida or a retirement community in Arizona. Then there are the children, who are approaching retirement, but still have businesses and practices to run. Time is scarce. They live in NY and are constantly busy. Then there are the “grand” children. They are approaching their forties and need to focus on their careers and their children. They have moved our of NY and into NJ, where things are a little easier. Their schedules are overloaded. They have work and school, and driving duty. And then there are the “great grand” children. They need to add bar or bat mitzvah lessons to their busy schedules between dance lessons, soccer games, and band class. When do you think the last time this whole family was in the same place to pray together? When do you think the last time was that this family attended synagogue together for the High Holidays? Now, they can all log in to the same service, at the same time of their choosing, and enjoy Judaism. They can zoom together for live services, or all watch an archived service at the same time, and zoom or even talk on the phone during that.
Perhaps, your teen is special needs, or you are divorced and the kids aren't always in the same place. Now they can log on for Hebrew school or other training at their convenience from wherever they are. So many traditional schools are offering programming at home. Why shouldn't the Jewish educational programs do the same?
We are hoping that we can grow this site to become an intimate community in a large world. We hope you can see the potential we can. Thank you so very much for checking us out. We hope you come back....and tell your friends.