Over 100 people joined together, virtually, last Sunday. That’s the usual size of the crowd that gathers for Zentangling. But this past week was a bit different. We stayed on for a little longer than usual, we used a red pen rather than just black and white, but the biggest difference of all, is that this week we were creating something together: “Zentangles of Love”.
The creations that we made are being collected as I write, and put into beautiful white frames engraved with the words, “HOMEMADE FOR YOU, WITH LOVE, THE SOUL CENTER”. Next, they’ll be delivered to the residents at King David to send the most important messages of all – you are not alone, we care, and your life and your being in this world matters.
The Torah teaches us that when God saw Adam alone in the Garden, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone”. We all know now, perhaps more than ever, the wisdom of this assessment. Imagining we’ve all had moments over the past months in which we’ve felt alone or lonely, disconnected, forgotten, and/or distanced in our relationships from family members, friends and even the strangers whose presence, we now realize, matters in our lives.
It’s hard to feel lonely. It’s hard to be alone. God, of course, was right – it’s “lo tov” not good for (our souls). At the beginning of the pandemic it really did feel like we were all in this together. We still are, but along the way, that spirit changed and nowadays, it’s easy to feel like we are traveling on different paths as we try to endure, each in our own way and all of us with a distinct sense of what’s okay and what’s not, what feels safe and what doesn’t. Personally, I’m missing that feeling of togetherness.
It seems we all need to find new ways to feel connected to each other in this particular moment in time. When you are feeling alone or lonely (which we all will inevitably feel) – try reaching upward to God and/or try reaching outward to the other. And when the world isn’t showing up for you the way that you need them too – try extending yourself to someone else. Try giving, even if it’s a kind word, a caring text, a handmade card or maybe a homemade zentangle. Sometimes, it’s the small gestures or random acts of kindness that can make all the difference.
So here’s to us. Enduring this journey together. Supporting each other. And seeing the beauty and the possibilities in what lies ahead. May we be blessed to find purpose and opportunities to feel loved and to give love, in ways big and small, as we go forth.
Lovingly and Soulfully Yours,
Rabbi Dana Saroken
Ps. A special thank you to Sarah Reading for leading us in creating our Zentangling of Love, and to Kris Meyer and Kathy Shapiro and Julie Hettleman and Rachel Siegal for turning this vision into reality and of course, to those who participated: Your love, care and creations helped illuminate our world.