May God Bless the Work of Our Hands

I feel anxious and I feel blessed. I feel anxious when I worry about what I have, and how Covid may take away from me material things I want / crave / hope for. I feel blessed when I notice the people in my life who love me, the meaningful tasks I have that sustain spiritual community, and take note of my access to material comfort. I feel anxious when I compare myself to others and worry if I will have enough or be enough. I feel blessed when I seek out ways I can be of service to God and humanity.

Every day, I try turning towards the blessing. I cannot make myself be enough for this overwhelming moment. I can however get in touch with how I can be of service, how I can be a source of healing and repair at a time of brokenness and pain.

I have already urged you to support LifeMoves as well as other hunger and homeless programs. At the same time, I’ve been looking for ways to help with our hands, to actually make something.

In partnership with Natalie Telis, Eve Ferber, and Jeff Schwarz, we have four projects to share with you. Our wonderful Tikkun Olam team has created a resource page and a form to participate. When you complete an item, please let us know on this form. You can also indicate that you would like a volunteer to pick up the completed item for delivery, or that you would like to help with delivery of other completed items.

We have four projects:

1. Making cloth masks for frontline LifeMoves staff interacting with clients on a regular basis. Their work is essential to keeping people housed, fed, and safe. To safely do their work, they need several thousand masks. They cannot get them quickly enough right now to keep with the need.

 2. Making no-stitch blankets for homeless people. While the weather is getting nicer, it’s still pretty cold at night. There are sadly more and more people without adequate housing despite all the eviction protections. These blankets will warm people up on those cold nights.

3. Making snacks bags to help feed the children that LifeMoves cares for on a regular basis. People have in some cases lost access to other food support they receive in “normal” times. They are in desperate need of packaged food they can give to people now living under Shelter in Place rules.

4. Mountain View Community Service Association is conducting a food drive. They are in need of all kinds of non-perishable food items. We can arrange for a non-contact drop off at the Ulmans’ home or for you to get a pick up. Wish list for food is here. 

Each of these projects is a chance to do something meaningful with our hands. Each of these projects will immediately improve someone’s life in our community. I urge you to take some of the worry and anxiety, the fears about what will be, and take that energy to do something now that is of service. This is a way of choosing blessing, and I believe it will help YOU feel better knowing that you have stepped forward to be a partner with God in bringing healing and repair to the world.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi David Booth

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