We are stronger when we work together
September 11, 2020
It is the last day of Moses' life. He has one final opportunity to speak to the Children of Israel. He gathers everyone and says, "You are all standing today before your G-d: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers - all people of Israel." If this sounds like a lot of detail instead of just saying "everyone," you are not alone.
According to one of our most important rabbinic sages, the phraseology here is on purpose. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchai, also known as Rashi, wrote that Moses is not simply gathering the people, but rather charging them to take responsibility for themselves and for others. The concept of "areyvut" - Responsibility for One Another - is as central to Moses' story as it is for us in Orlando today.
As the story is told, Moses makes the point to the Children of Israel that each and every one of us has an obligation to look out for and to be a role model for others. He takes the time to mention the different groups of people because each one has a different level of influence; yet each one has the power to make a positive impact on others. Equally important is the message of unity. When all the Israelites are gathered, young and old, rich and poor, the message is simple. Every one of us is important and valued in G-d's eyes. Each one of us has an important role to play.
As we head into the High Holidays, we know that the Children of Israel received a message that is still relevant to us today. Quite simply, "we are better and stronger when we work together."
This isn't simply about good management. It is about a social contract between the Jewish People and G-d that we (each and every one of us) accepts personal responsibility to lift each other up, provide support and be there in times of need. This is the miracle of the survival of the Jewish people having spent thousand of years in exile and yet still maintained our Jewishness. This commitment binds us as Jews to knowing we are not alone and honoring the obligations to care for the needs for those around us.
It is with this responsibility to the seniors living at Kinneret Apartments that we carefully begin to re-open public spaces. Our seniors have been carefully following the mandated protocols since the onset of this pandemic which includes all public spaces being closed. This coming week, we will be re-opening the exercise room, the library, and resuming our chair exercise classes. While the residents are very excited, we are once again asking them to follow very strict procedures to ensure that we will continue to be successful in protecting our residents and visitors.
Like Moses, we will not likely see the end of our work, but then again ... that won't stop us from our commitment to one another because this commitment is not just based in Torah. It is in our DNA! Shana Tova U'metuaka.