Veggie Burgers: A Thought Experiment for the 17th of Tammuz

I wanted to share a thought exercise with you:

Think about a time you felt deeply connected to a community,cohort, or group. Why? What about the event or experience helped you feel connected?What were the elements or dynamics that made you feel like you belonged? Was it a large or small group experience? Did you have a long or short history with the other people in the group? Was it in your home or far away? Was it a place of comfort or did it push you beyond your comfort zone?

Think about a time in the last four months when  Covid-19 got real. What is the first time you missed out on an event or experience of connection? How did that feel? For me that moment was when we did not have Passover Seder with the extended family. That was the moment when I realized that something was broken and it was not going to be fixed any time soon.

Throughout the course of Jewish history Jerusalem has been our national connection hub. It is where we go to connect with our people, our history, and our God. Today was the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day in commemoration of the breaching of the wall that led to the destruction of 2nd temple in Jerusalem. This was the begining of the end. With the 17th of Tammuz we start the three weeks that reach its nadir with Tisha B’Av. Like this thought exercise it is a day to remember the moment when it got real.

While we will eventually get past Covid-19, our society is currently broken. The virtual world that many of us are working, learning, and living in seems to fall short. We do not know how to connect. Like the Rabbis before us who moved from Jerusalem to Yavneh, we need to explore new ways to connect meaningfully and create community. Instead of focusing on how we used to connect and commune and getting stuck, we need to examine why we connect and commune. We might not be able to do it the same way, but we might be able to meet our needs with new techniques. Who know’s we might even keep some of these new ways in our lives after Covid-19 has passed. Virtual gatherings will never be a substitute for in-person gatherings, but it might be enough. As I have been saying, ” Veggie burgers are not real burgers, but with the right fixins they are both delicious and nutritious.”

21 Delicious Veggie Burger Recipes | Cooking Light

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