One of the surprise meetings I had at Shir Hadash on Wednesday had to do with this morning’s Shabbat service. Our Interim Rabbi had been scheduled to lead it, but his departure had already happened, and our other clergy were very busy preparing for S’lichot Services tonight and the rest of the High Holidays.
I volunteered to lead the service, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to put together a good d’var Torah on my own; the Cantor pointed me at a couple of candidates, and I chose to “adapt” (read verbatim) one that Rabbi Jethro Berkman wrote for T’ruah.org. It’s titled “Cultivating a Culture of Giving” and it resonated with me. It even encouraged me to use Maimonides’ Eight Levels of Giving as the little bit of Torah to be read right after the blessing for the study of Torah.
There had been a few changes in our procedure since the last time I led a service on Zoom; in particular, we’ve stopped using screen-sharing to display the prayerbook and weekly notes to the attendees. That reduced the amount of app-juggling I had to do substantially, and it also meant people could see one another throughout the service.
By the time the service was over, it was hot and fairly polluted outside, so we spent the rest of the day at home. The developer of osxphotos had sent me a fix for the bug I reported last week and wanted me to test it – it works, but I stumbled on another very weird problem in the course of testing the fix and reported it. It’s not one that I’ll run into in practice, but someone will!