Corona and Ki Tissa

Ki Tissa 2020, A guide for Corona

Today I am taking a census – who in my circles is high risk for corona, and living alone? Me!  Many of my friends. Some of my family.  This Torah portion instructs us to give an offering, one that we all can make equally, that will allow us to be counted, and that will protect us from the plague.

What can I offer my friends that will protect us from the plague of separation and exclusion, ?

Who gets to be counted?

What is it that we all can contribute equally, so that no one is left unprotected?

Presence and Empathy

I choose to contact at least three people each day to offer my presence and empathy. I can do this by phone or internet.

Washing Instructions and Leadership

If I enter into or return from a place where other people have gathered, I will perform handwashing as a ritual, following the instructions given to Aaron and his sons. This will help me feel grateful for clean water and safe refuge. I can pause and feel gratitude that my self care is part of the care for the whole, of creating conditions to re establish safe communal space, to re-vision holy places ( the mishkan, or “dwelling place, ”Tent of Meeting/Sanctuary/Tabernacle) where we stand together, no one left out.

The Golden Calf

The people were scared. Each one brought an offering, gold items from their state of slavery,  and together they created a Golden Calf.  This offering angered God and Moses.  The accessories of slavery are not the components of an offering that will create a space for inclusion and safety. 

The offering must come from the heart, not from fear. An offering that generates gratitude and connection.

What is your offering today, in this time of plague, that can come from the heart, not from fear? Who can you reach out to and offer presence and empathy? An offering pleasing to God.

About the Author
Roberta Wall offers trainings inspired by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication and by the teachings of Mindfulness. She is a lawyer, mediator, trainer, parent, activist, mindfulness practitioner and coach. She shares her time between Israel and the beautiful Hudson River Valley of Upstate New York and travels the world coaching couples, individuals and organizations and facilitating workshops and retreats inspired by Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication (NVC) as developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and Buddhist teachers Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama, and teachers and rabbis from her root Jewish tradition.
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