During this pandemic whilst we are all locked down and isolated in our homes, video communication use has soared with people taking to apps like Zoom to work to talk to family and even attend religious services like Zoom Shabbat Services.
And I have been attending Shabbat services with the local Reform Synagogue on Zoom.
For me this is new and I don’t just mean Zoom, I am talking about attending Shabbat services.
I won’t bore you with the long story, but the short brief is that I first enquired 30 years ago & it has been bothering me on and off a few times a year ever since.
So via Zoom every Friday evening and Saturday morning and a few other times as well, I have finally taken the first steps to scratching that itch!
Zoom or rather video conferencing is great but whilst it puts us face to face with family, friends, business colleagues and even a religious community, it is obviously lacking!
I think the best way to explain this would be this;
I cook a meal and dish it up on the table but you my guests are mere screens sat around the table.
You can see the meal I have created, you can here me tell you what I have cooked and even why I cooked this meal for you.
But you can’t smell the aromas coming off of the plate sat in front of your monitor and scent builds memories and it also recalls memories and for a meal it is very important.
Likewise you can’t pick up the cutlery and start to eat, you cannot taste the food upon the plate, you can’t feel the textures in your mouth and it will certainly not satisfy your hunger.
And this is especially true with the first steps I have just taken and had to do it via Zoom and yes I do realise I had 30 years and chose now!
I have loved attending Shabbat services via Zoom, I have certainly laughed a lot more than I thought I would!
To hear the prayers, the tunes, to be part of it has been, well it has been an honour.
However I have not been into the Synagogue, I have not felt what a Shabbat service feels like, I have not been amongst the people hearing them and been able to soak up the atmosphere.
Just like that meal, it lacks.
And that is to be expected and that is why the sooner we are all back out there, experiencing life, creating memories and recalling memories.
Well the sooner the better!
For many life will never be the same, they will have lost loved ones and friends. They may have lost jobs as businesses have collapsed during this very long and drawn out period of our lives.
Whilst I am looking forward to actually attending the synagogue and soaking up the atmosphere, I also hope that this will still be available on Zoom.
For people like me with por health or poor varying health conditions, Zoom has opened up the world to us and I for one would like to have the option to physically attend and also attend via Zoom when feeling unable to attend.