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Dealing with Re-entry Anxiety

05/24/2021 10:48:33 AM

May24

Chevre (Friends),

As I speak with more and more congregants, and as I experience my own layered re-entry into social gatherings, this May 15th article from the Wall Street Journal, has become a helpful resource to share. Having anxiety about stepping outside and even joining people in gatherings here and there is a real thing. It is called "re-entry anxiety," and there are ways to manage it. Not everyone is ready to just jump back in to the newly re-opened world around them, and, considering what we've all been through, that makes perfect sense!

I was hesitant, at first, to go back to our beloved sanctuary, especially because my role is primarily singing, and the science was still showing the danger of aerosols spread via singing as being far more dangerous than those spread just from speaking (even while masked). With more and more people vaccinated, including many 12-year olds and teens, the sanctuary has once again become a place of calming for me. Some of you have come to a Friday night service, or a Shabbat morning service, or perhaps joined us for Shavuot, most recently. For those of you who have not yet ventured in for a full service, I understand your hesitancy. Please know that your process in acclimating is respected and appreciated. Some people have "put a toe in the water" and have come to a part of a service, just to see what it feels like. It is not all or nothing. Do what you need to do to feel safe and comfortable. Know that our amazing Re-Opening Committee, chaired by Jim Lieberman, has done everything in the safest, most cautious and thoughtful way, all during the pandemic. Our beloved Facilities Manager, Juan Isaza, is on top of everything that transpires in our building and on our grounds. With HaShem (G-d), Jim, and Juan watching out for us, we are in good hands!

So, be gentle with yourself, proceed at your own pace, and know that we are here for you.  I won't hug you when I see you in the sanctuary, but you'll feel my happiness at seeing you in person once again! One day at a time. One step at a time. One new experience at a time.

Until we are together again, I wish you peace and feelings of security.

I leave you with the beautiful artistry of my colleague, Joanne Fink, depicting the priestly benediction:

May be an image of ‎text that says '‎וישמרך יהוה ויחנך אליך פניו יהוה שלום לך וישם אליך פניו יהוה NUMBERS 6:24- MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP YoU MAY GoD SHINE GOD'S FACE UPON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS UNTO YOU MAY THE LIGHT OF GOD'S PRESENCE SHINE UPON YOU AND GRANT YOU PEACE ©JOANNE ©JOANNFIN FINK JOANNEHINKJUDAICA.COM‎'‎

Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782