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Rabbi's Weekly Torah Thoughts

THE HUMAN TOLL OF COVID 19

Like many, I’ve been following the numbers during the pandemic: how many infections (over 1.6 million), deaths (close to 100,000), jobless (almost 40 million have filed for unemployment), etc. Yet a few news outlets remind me that every individual impacted also has their own story.

The New York Times, for example, has an interactive graphic called “An Incalculable Loss.” As you scroll through it, brief statements about 1,000 or 10% of the departed appear, collected from their obituaries. Marion Krueger of Kirkland, Washington was a great grandmother with an easy laugh. George Freeman Winfield of Shelburne, Vermont could make anything grow. Sandy Pratt of Bellevue, Washington was an engineer forever chasing the wind. Carol Sue Rubin of West Bloomfield, Michigan loved travel, mah jongg and crossword puzzles. The list goes on.

This reporting emphasizes the Jewish value that every human being is created in God’s image. On Saturday, the second day of Shavuot, we observe yizkor. Through this ritual we too remember loved ones’ successes, aspirations, and times they fell short. We recall all the ways they inspired us and shaped who we are today. We realize that every life has infinite worth, as our tradition teaches, “One who saves a single life it is as if he saved the entire world.” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5)

Shalom,

Rabbi Pont

High Holiday Sermons

Yom Kippur 5780 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Antisemitism Continued

Kol Nidre 5780 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Antisemitism 

Rosh Hashanah 5780 - Rabbi Ron Koas - Making Wine

Watch the Rabbis' 5780 Sermons Online:

Kol Nidre 5780 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Kol Nidre Sermon

Yom Kippur 5780 - Rabbi Mihcael Pont - Yom Kippur Day Sermon

Rosh Hashanah 5780 - Rabbi Michael Pont - Teaching Your Child to Drive

Rosh Hashanah 5780 - Rabbi Ron Koas - Making Wine

Sat, May 30 2020 7 Sivan 5780