Rabbi Jonathan Malamy, Director of Meaningful Life

Good afternoon, New Jewish Home Manhattan.

It’s Tuesday, May 26. Can you believe it? 

Memorial Day is behind us. It’s 70 degrees outside, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the squirrels are jumping from branch to branch and the people are all wearing lovely blue…masks. 

Could it be that this is now one of the normal signs of summer? Are we going to have winter masks and summer masks and spring and fall? Will we coordinate them with our outfits?

I ask this question with a bit of a smirk but really, behind my smile, is our shared unease over the current situation. 

We continue to ask ourselves, what will be the cost of this? We continue to ask ourselves, what will be the cost of this time in our history? And one reason this remains a challenging question is that the answer remains unknown. Some have already paid a great price, others seem to have gotten a break, and most of us are waiting for the bill to come due. 

But while we wait we can at least take heart from the message of this song. First recorded in the Roaring Twenties (almost a century ago) and it became much more deeply resonant during The Great Depression. It surely has something to say to us today as well. 

“The Best Things In Life Are Free” (recorded by Nellie McKay)