By Batya Malichi:
“I’ll be there in a minute, Luke”
Am I living in a space capsule? That thought occurred to me this morning as I sat in my living room and listened to a live streamed Shacharit service for Yom Kippur. The tefilah was expertly pre-recorded and provided access to a heartfelt melodious davening for untold numbers of those sheltering in place. With a click on a clearly marked link, I entered a virtual synagogue, took my seat, front row center, and let the tefilah wash over me. In this virtual synagogue, I am the only member. That’s not a bad thing, it reduces the temptation to gossip or think poorly of those sitting across the sanctuary who are talking loudly or dressed outrageously or didn’t return my call. Good to get a jump on avoiding the list of sins repeatedly staring me in the face from the pages of the Machzor.
Am I living in a space capsule? Where are the other astronauts? Haven’t I learned that in person contact with three-dimensional people raises my spirits? I might have clicked on the clearly marked Shacharit icon two days before Yom Kippur or two days after. That is when the space capsule metaphor popped into my head. (Clearly, I am under the influence of Netflix series covering space flight). But, its true and maybe it would be calming and invigorating to hear the liturgy, the piyyutim sung out to me from my laptop speaker on a regular day while I’m washing the floor or sipping my morning coffee. Up until Corona, I connected the High Holiday melodies to a specific day and time. But now, I am hunkered down in my space capsule with a virtual world at my fingertips. Time is no longer a factor. I either have the strength to use time productively or go crazy from timelessness (the absence of a structured schedule).
So clearly, since the former is preferable to the latter, I will endeavor to scrape out a balance on the time continuum (more Netflix influence) which will include one part: bill paying, one part: meal planning, one part: calling the kids, and the most important part: STAR WARS.