Caring During COVID

The Coronavirus outbreak, which has cost the lives of so many people, hs found people willing to pitch in and help out their neighbors in need. I would like to recommend some fine charities:

The Philadelphia Foundation, in conjunction with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New jersey, has the PHL COVID-19, Fund, which provides grants and other resources to non-profits working in the community; their website is 

the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has organized the COVID-19 Emergence Fund, to address community needs during the pandemic. their web site for updates and donations is

Philabundance, which prepares and distributes meals to needy families in the Philadelphia area; their web site is

HIAS, formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which supports and advocates for immigrants seeking refuge in this country-a population vulnerable to infections diseases. Their site for Pennsylvania is

Muslims Serve, which distributes food to the homeless. their site is

Please look up these fine organizations, and look up similar organizations where you are.

COVID Countdown

We are in the midst of the Omer, the 49-day period between Pesach, the holiday celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery, and Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the receiving of the Torah, The Kabbalists have held the Omer as the period of self-reflection and spiritual development, with the study of the Kabbalistic s’pherot as traits to develop, as a person and as a community (which are inseparable). The Omer is a period of great hope and anticipation, a countdown from liberation to revelation.

Lately I’ve been following the news about the COVID-19 crisis. I try to balance realizing the bad news with finding nuggets of hope-and form of treatment or vaccine against the virus; local home-grown efforts of manufacturing ventilators, gowns and masks; the valiant work of dedicated nurses, doctors, and other medical workers saving lives while risking (and often losing) their own; and people coming together and helping each other, supplying food to neighbors and calling them to see if they’re okay. You need to hear both-the bad news along with hope, to help you make informed decisions, and to keep you going through the situation.

There have been many fine state governors addressing the pandemic-Wolf of Pennsylvania, Cuomo of New York, Murphy of New Jersey, Pritzker of Illinois- and we must do our own part in demanding that all officials at all levels of government work to deal with the crisis; our voices, and our votes, are our weapons of choice. (The Primary election day in Pennsylvania is June 2, and the general election is November 3. Please get out there and vote.)

Our conscious decisions, such as to weak masks outside and self-quarantine if we’re not feeling well, are part of what has helped us through the pandemic, and will help us defeat the COVID-19, along with trump and his lackeys who have betrayed us; likewise, our self-loving, self-respecting self-assessment throughout the Omer period leads us to greater spiritual fulfillment.


Photo by CDC on


Photo by cottonbro on

COVID-19, it’s getting real.

Today, March 16, 2020, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney ordered the shutdown of “non-essential” businesses in the city, as of 5:00 PM. Not affected will be gas stations, banks, post offices, day care centers, laundromats, dry cleaners, and groceries will be open; non-essential” government services will be closed; restaurants will only have take-out service and deliveries; no sit-down service. Courts will only hear non-emergency cases for the rest of the month.

This is in response to the corona virus pandemic sweeping the world; local and state governments have stepped up to prevent further cases, which would overwhelm the health care system currently dealing with the virus. Soon after, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered a statewide shutdown of all non-essential businesses.

Like many, I’m trying to cope with the situation; a lot of my favorite spots will be closed until-at least-the end of the month-but what about after?

The only things we can do right now is listen to the advice of the medical professionals-such basic stuff as washing your hands, not getting near people if they don’t feel comfortable, and staying home if they don’t have to go out.

It’s important to understand that we as a nation have been through some difficulties before in our history, and banding together and being for one another have seen us through the tough times; we will overcome this problem.