Rabbi Rosenberg's Message
One year ago, at this time, the entire world was in a state of upheaval. Aside from the physical threat the pandemic posed, the constant uncertainty left everyone anxious as we wondered when and how the world would return to normal. The most basic activities that we once took for granted, became major challenges.
During the early days of the virus, we worried if the shul would be able to survive. Shuls are in the business of meeting together daily to daven and learn, and of course socialize. The challenge was to remain connected and vital to our members, even if we were not seeing each other in-person for weeks and months on end.
Hashem was with us from the very beginning. We did our best to exert the effort, and the help came from Above. We were able to pay our employees on time, cover expenses and resume davening in our ohel-mo’ed – tent of meeting. Classes continued on Zoom (some still meet on Zoom to this day), and we found creative ways to stay connected and socialize, both virtually and in-person.
While we worked hard to keep the doors (of the tent) open, our ability to continue was in large measure due to you! Members embraced our efforts and appreciated our cautiousness, attention to detail and optimism as we slogged through the seasons and Yomim Tovim. Reciting Eichah on Tisha B’Av night on the concrete steps of the Shul brought home the message of exile. The banishment from Hashem’s Home was more real than ever. Who will ever forget the Yomim Noraim experience of last year? Braving the elements, arising before dawn on Yom Kippur to say vidui with the eastern sun climbing before our eyes. Or bidding farewell at Ne’ilah to the Holy Day, as the sun dipped behind us. Those who came to davening early every morning in the frigid temperatures were no different than soldiers in the trenches, who dare not abandon their post.
All of this was punctuated with a tremendous flow of generosity. Virtual Dinners and Kol Nidrei campaigns broke new records. Those who had, made sure to nobly take care of those who did not. This past year may truly have been our finest moment.
As things, B”H, appear to return to normal, we realize that a year of lockdown allows for reflection. Some have chosen to seize the opportunity of relocating to be close to family and begin a new chapter. Rabbi George & Dr. Lisa Lintz are among that group. Although they are homegrown and raised their family here in the valley, they have decided to join their children in South Florida. The amount of dedication and contribution Lisa & George have both shown to the local institutions and especially SZ, is beyond adequate words. They have given of themselves in every capacity and always discharged their duties with exemplary middos and loyalty. As much as we wish them happiness and success, we know they will not be replaced.
At least the pandemic taught us that we can remain connected in more ways than we imagined. We wish the Lintz family only besoros tovos and nachas, and we eagerly await the end of the ultimate lockdown with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our day.