—Rabbi Sandy Bogin
Sarah Neuman, The New Jewish Home – Westchester

May 28, 2020
Good afternoon, everyone.
I invite you all to pause if you can, from what you are doing for a moment.

This evening we begin the Jewish festival of Shavuot. Another holiday that we are not able to celebrate in the usual manner of gathering friends and family in a synagogue and at home. Passover, Easter, Eid al-Fitr — other holy days that we were not able to celebrate in our usual ways this spring.

It is our tradition to count the days from Passover to Shavuot; from Passover, our liberation from Egyptian bondage, until the time of the giving of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible by God to the Jewish people.

We count in great symbolic anticipation.

We Americans have also been counting, and have reached a staggering statistic of at least 100,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19.

A very different kind of counting. Not joyful anticipation, but mournful sadness and loss. 

It is our hope and our prayer that these staggering statistics will begin to go down, and all of our counting will be in anticipation of happier times.  Happier days are coming.

Have a good afternoon. Chag Sameach.