Professors Emily Oster and Stuart Firestein offer advice for rabbis for deciding what to do about the High Holy Days during COVID-19 – and how to live with the unavoidable uncertainty.
Since they have diametrically opposed impacts on society, it is virtually unintelligible to link religion and race. However much this may be so, it would be ill advised to consider them radically disconnected or as always operating as opposing forces.
Who benefits from the policies white progressives are advocating? Are we fighting for racial justice, or for someone else’s justice? Or for no one’s? Until I know, I will be slow to speak and quick to question orthodoxies.
Rather than seeing God as decreeing disease, we’re better off recognizing how human beings affect the cosmos and, in turn, the divine.
How do we build more a just and compassionate world during the COVID-19 crisis?
Right now we are living with communal grief, if not also personal grief. It is hard to see our holiness, but it is there.
Rather than considering the world’s imperfections the finished result of a botched creation, we should think of them as how it feels to live during an ongoing process.
Perhaps we will remember this time by the actions we took, not the time spent in our homes. Perhaps we will measure this time in phone calls, in virtual connectivity, in mask-clad smiles.
We can support our mindfulness practice with what neuroscientists and other biophysiologists will tell us, and also what spiritual traditions tend to appreciate, which is that we are wondrously made, or magnificently evolved, as, in a way, self-healing organisms.
In the midst of COVID-19, how have faith communities been grappling with questions of access and justice?