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Rabbi Minkus March 18 Update

03/18/2020 08:15:34 PM


Dearest Rodfei Zedek community, 

I am sure I am like all of you when I say that I have been on an emotional roller-coaster the past four or five days, seemingly with no end in sight. Yet the last two days have brought some semblance of normalcy and routine with a virtual morning minyan service; we had more participants than any weekday service than I can remember.  I am heartened and have begun my day with a smile, feeling uplifted.  It has been so enjoyable, almost normal, to see so many of your faces and to hear the usual cadences of our liturgy emerging from the usual voices.  Please join us.  We are doing services on Zoom.   A link to Zoom (and a Zoom tutorial) and the siddur/prayer book we are using are below.  Some of you have not used this technology before.  If you have difficulty, just email me and I will walk you through it. 

Yesterday I began trying to call all of you.  If you have not heard from me, be patient, I will reach you, but do not hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything or just want to talk.  It was wonderful hearing your voices and reestablishing our connection despite our physical distance.  Please, please, reach out to a few people.  If there is someone from Rodfei you would like to connect with but do not have their number, email me and I can connect you with them.  This is a tremendous mitzvah.  We have other mitzvah and Chesed opportunities that will be listed below.  Please read through the whole email, but reach out to me or our Chesed chair, Nancy Jacobson (, for more details.

This Shabbat we will live-stream our Na'aseh V'Nishma service remotely with our NVN band.  If you are a regular, I look forward to seeing you.  If you are not, tune in! and invite others to do so.  The link is below.  We will also post it on our website and Facebook.  I will lead an interactive Torah study as well.  If you prefer a non-instrumentalal Shabbat morning service, there is a link below to another synagogue that will be live-streaming its service.

We are working on other content to post and to utilize as a source of meaning and purposeful connection.  But if you have ideas, please let me know (Shabbat yoga? Crafts? Bingo?).  I am working on having my pop-up dinner partner from Diaspora Dinners create some live-cooking demos.

Lastly, in this arena:  Shabbat, I think it fair to say, is more essential than it has ever been.  We are in greater need to separate time since we cannot separate space.  Do something different:  make a new recipe and light Shabbat candles (or whatever you have).  And, if you are comfortable with it, post a video of you doing it to our Facebook page.  Let us share in the joy, warmth and necessity of Shabbat in some meaningful way.

I miss being with all of you in person.  Rachel and I miss shaking your hands, and not being afraid of the personal and physical connections that have thoroughly enriched my life in these past five and half years.  Let us work harder to establish different forms of connection now that will carry us through this period.   Hazak, Hazak, Ve’nithazek (Strength, Strength, May you be strengthened).

  • Please join us online here for morning Minyan via Zoom.  It goes live week days at 8 a.m. and Sundays at 9:00 a.m.  Click here to access the pdf of the siddur prayer book we are using. 

    Meeting ID: 550 293 054 Password: 310163

  • If you do not have a Zoom account, sign up for a free account at  You can use the audio and/or video on your phone or computer.  Here is a link to a free Zoom tutorial that will show you all you need to know to get started using this convenient video conferencing tool.
  • Watch the Na’aseh V’Nishma Shabbat service at 10:30 on March 21 live broadcast on our Facebook page:
  • ~11:30 a.m., immediately after the NVN broadcast, Rabbi Minkus will lead an interactive Torah study on Zoom:
  • If you prefer a non-instrumental Shabbat morning service, here is a link to Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook for its live-streamed 9:30 shabbat service.  Click on the Kamensky Sanctuary image.
  • Please email as we have new and necessary chesed opportunities to pack and distribute groceries.
  • To read Torah Sparks, click here.
  • Due to circumstances beyond our control, we cannot change our telephone message at the moment.  Check the website ( or call and leave a message.  We will be checking the phone for messages.
Sun, March 29 2020 4 Nisan 5780