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Trying to endure loss in isolation is more than painful; it puts our lives at risk. Rambam understood that when he described the consequences of not being connecting to Am Yisrael at times of trauma, including our fast days.
Rebuke, תוכחה, when done correctly, looks for an opening, a sympathetic moment or shared memory to draw upon. Before reproving the other, we first join them. Once we are allies, our words urging change might be heard.
We've learned to procure the basics and meet many of our needs in new ways; with digital technology, we have found substitutes that have enabled us to learn and socialize virtually. Yet the Torah reminds us that individualism and isolation are not the ideal state of being.
This week, I tell a friend I’d love to chat but actually I have to run Yom Kippur services are starting soon and I’ve got to repent for my sins before the gates are closed. She laughs. “Well, you’re gay, so you’ve definitely got a lot of repenting to do.”
My boys are making forts using all the pillows in the house. They strong-armed my husband into setting up our camping tent outside, and they sit there as the day grows hot.
A classmate recently snapped a photo of a billboard promoting Israel’s right-wing Yachad party that read: “So there won’t be a child with a father and a father!”