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Gam Zu (This too...)

There is an expression in Hebrew that is usually "gam zu latova" גם זו לטובה, and it means: this too is for the best. Some people like to always see the bright side of things. 

This week on the Jewish calendar we commemorate some of the worst experiences. Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on April 8 and Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) on April 14. We take a day and reflect about the Holocaust, and another less than a week later to reflect on all of the lives that have been lost to protect and preserve the State of Israel. 

In the face of tragedies and losses like that, I am not convinced that it is appropriate to even consider "gam zu." 

Yet, those who survive find ways to live, and even thrive. It did not take a Shoah to be able to create the State of Israel, but the chronology lets us know that after tragedy, we can still find ourselves living with "HaTikvah" - "The Hope."

On the Jewish calendar, Memorial Day is immediately followed by Yom Ha'Atzma'ut (Israel Independence Day). In every life we find time to remember, reflect, and mourn - and we also need to find time to celebrate and appreciate and hope. 

In Shreveport, for almost 4 decades, the community has had an ecumenical service to remember the tragedy of the Shoah. We inspire our teens to find creative ways to learn about it and share what they learn. This year the event will be attendedi in person only by people who are participating in the service. Everyone is invited to watch the service online live or after it is over. Details and links are HERE.

In the middle of all of this remembering and hoping at B'nai Zion we are in the early stages of being "B'makom" - in place - by having worship services in person. We have been in person for a month. We are seeing very few people attend in person - consistently we still see significantly more people attending online. 

Gam zu latovah - This too is good. We have learned how to gather people from far and wide - even while we had to stay at home. Now that more people are vaccinated, and the numbers of infections and deaths are lower, we are also gathering in person. 

It is a challenge to meet everyone's needs. Most people remind me that I cannot actually do it. I will continue to try to find ways to meet the needs of our congregation. We began streaming the services in our sanctuary in 2014 when we did our renovation. We have been making the worship experience accessible for a long time. Now that we can be in person and online again, I look forward to all the ways that we can creatively make this too a good thing.

Wed, June 29 2022 30 Sivan 5782