Menschy the Peacock is the creation of Rabbi Herst and Corrine Perrine. Each week, Menschy sends out a moment of Torah and learning to the staff. Normally, these are internal documents, but this week's edition is one that is relevant way beyond Keshet's staff, especially as we approach Thanksgiving.
I woke up this morning to email informing us that later this month, Keshet is returning to a full remote learning model. I get a huge amount of relief knowing Keshet monitors and is on top of the COVID situation. The Safety Committee puts the well-being of the staff right up there on top next to the well-being of the students, team members and participants.
Sometimes it seems like yesterday we went home thinking we’re closing for a week, maybe two weeks. Kind of like a commercial at the Superbowl - go get some snacks, use the restroom, we'll be right back. Sometimes it seems like yesterday the powers that be began suggesting we should wear masks. Soon stores were handing them out because you couldn’t go in without one. I felt so bad for the Ecclesiastes devotees (of which I am one), who said “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." You want me to wear this where? Everywhere?!? Now I wish I owned stock in some of the mask manufacturers.
How easy it is to look at the Torah portion this week and make it relevant to the times. This week's portion is Vayeitzei. We read about Yaakov (Jacob) and his great love for Rachel. Yaakov desired Rachel so much he agreed to work for her father, Lavan, for seven years, just to secure her hand in marriage. We’ve heard of long engagements but seven years? The Torah acknowledges this patient oddity and says “Yaakov worked for Lavan seven years, but they were in his eyes like a few days….” How did seven years feel like a few days? The verse goes on to say “because of [Jacob's] love for her!”
We’ve been though many months dealing with COVID-19. Nobody could have predicted the experiences we’ve endured so far. It started as possibly a week-long hiatus. Before we knew it, we’re looking at eight months. Work closed. Work open. Everyone healthy. Friends and family sick. Up and down. Back and forth. Highs and Lows.
“Yaakov worked for Lavan seven years, but they were in his eyes like a few days”
As we move into the scheduled break for Thanksgiving and the wonder and beauty of the upcoming winter holidays, let’s remember to be there for each other. Not just at work, but safely on our off time too. On Facetime, on the phone or on our own Zoom meetings, let’s be there for each other. This whole ordeal has been a challenge and there’s more ahead. Let’s work together to make the last eight months and each week and each month ahead, memorable in positive ways, so when this is really over, we’ll look back and say “I have more friends, better friends who care about me more than I ever imagined.” “I have much to be thankful for, starting with the people I work with every day.” Let’s make the verse from this week’s Torah portion “…they were in our eyes, like a few days” true in every sense of the word.