While Americans are busy deciding which restaurant to eat inside at and planning parties, COVID-19 is raging at its highest levels ever worldwide. Tragedy, in particular, is unfolding day after day in India, which is struggling to vaccinate and care for its people, including its approximately 6,000 Jews. In order to bring much needed attention to this crisis, Moment is publishing a letter from Nancy Brim about how COVID-19 has affected her Jewish family living in Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
As the world came to grips with the seriousness of the pandemic last spring, conspiracies arose linking COVID-19 and anti-Semitism.
Despite a failed reelection campaign, Donald Trump and his team registered several notable gains this election season. Trump slightly increased the share of Black and Hispanic Americans voting for him, alongside an impressive turnout from a small but well-organized subgroup: Orthodox Jews. According to polls and estimates, more than 80 percent of Orthodox Jews cast their vote for Trump, making them one of his most approving constituencies in the nation.
For the past six weeks, members of Beth Sholom Congregation & Talmud Torah in Potomac, Maryland, have attended services in the parking lot.
This year some Jews will use Tisha B’Av as a day to reflect upon the trauma of the ongoing pandemic. When cities across the world shut down this spring, the reality of social distancing and quarantine, accompanied by images of abandoned roads, empty subways and desolate public spaces, evoked the opening lines of the book of Lamentations, traditionally chanted on Tisha B’Av in many communities.
Repetition mixed with monotony is not usually high up on Hollywood’s list of project themes, which is why Hulu’s Palm Springs was such a delightful surprise. The film stars Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) as two apathetic California wedding guests who get stuck in a Groundhog Day-like time loop, forcing them to relive the couple’s special day over and over again. For a film that was shot in pre-coronavirus times, Palm Springs is surprisingly relevant.
Since the pandemic began, DeSantis has aped Trump’s responses–and non-responses–to the crisis. He has refused to take significant state action to stem the now-record rising tide of COVID-19. This has included intransigent resistance to mandating the use of masks, closing the beaches and ordering a stay-at-home lockdown. Echoing Trump, he deferred to local authorities to take such action.
Throughout the ages, the Jewish people have developed customs, rituals and observances to guide us and provide comfort when a loved one dies. Moment Senior Editor Francie Weinman Schwartz, coauthor of The Jewish Moral Virtues with Eugene B. Borowitz, has prepared this compendium to help you make decisions in advance and know what to do when the time comes. Due to safety concerns brought about by the current public health crisis, we’ve also included new traditions to consider.