Mar 15, 2020

"Spread Life" - an exploration of Jewish Law for today with Rabbi Aaron Alexander

God, I love Rabbi Aaron Alexander's Torah. (click here)
This online class might be textually dense for those unfamiliar with halachic studies, but the values that animate his teaching on the question of Priestly Blessing ("duchening") in modern worship are clear: he teaches that, in these moments when gathering is only virtual, we must remind each other and ourselves to make sure we follow the Torah's imperative to "live by them." By which he means, and states explicitly, that any desire/need we have to gather in homes when houses of worship are closed, is forbidden (R. Alexander cites the ruling of his Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt) to do so.
I have an obligation to remove any life-endangering obstacle to the health of others. That means to host a gathering, right now, is to act against the Torah.
Ie, my body is not only my own, as its impact is so much wider than me. Self-isolation is a mitzvah, so that we might save lives. It is that simple. It is that clear.
So spread life. You're not alone. Let us see these new modes of connectivity as real and full of love.