By last Monday evening I realized I’d been involved in an interesting series of CBS events that began Thursday night.

Thursday evening was the Zoom CBS board meeting; Friday our Zoom Kabbalat Shabbat service; Saturday morning, was our bi-weekly Torah study; Sunday morning was Sunday school; later in the afternoon I was part of a group celebrating our garden’s annual (and very successful) harvest; directly after that was a meeting celebrating our first (and very successful) annual Schlep for CBS; and Monday evening was my Seminarion.

What does that tell us?

Well, for one thing, our Zoom subscriptions are being enormously well-used.

But what does all of this zooming tell us?

That we’ve got energy and ideas, that we’re a community, that we have direction. That we’re the central address for Jewish life in our neck of the woods. And that, for the time being, we are willing and able to work with each other by meeting on little rectangles, what I heard someone call recently our Hollywood Squares screen.

It goes without saying that behind all of this praying and celebrating and adjudicating lies our reason for being.  It’s true that our gatherings have a strong social component.  But to my mind social life is not enough.  The social is the conduit for the holy, and the holy is where our soul resides. We are the Jewish people, folks who claim a covenant with God that’s been a part of our identity since Abraham and Sarah relocated from Iraq (essentially) to Canaan.

It’s a simple message, but I think it’s one we need to remember: Our reason for all of this is our relationship to God and our relationship to each other.  So, keep on Zooming until we no longer need to.

Rabbi Phil M. Cohen

Last Shabbat we lost a giant.  Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, one of our most prominent public intellectuals, died from cancer at age 72.  A few years back I wrote a review of a book about him called Jonathan Sacks Universalizing Particularity.  If you’d like to have a look at it, you may find it here: http://