My computer was balanced next to the stove where I was making pancakes, still in my pajamas and hair unbrushed. The host of the Zoom meeting I was attending was having technical difficulties. She disappeared for a few minutes, struggling with her Wi-Fi. My children were most likely also screaming in the background. A typical pandemic morning.
In a Zoom-fatigued world, a delayed meeting can feel like a burden in an already harried day. That is on top of all the other ways that we are struggling to connect with others through the new norms of interaction.
The amazing thing was that in this delayed meeting, no one was upset. Rather than feeling drained, it felt for a few moments like I was hanging out with friends in my kitchen as we chatted and caught up. A moment of potential frustration was turned into a moment of joy, and it was only made possible because of strong relationships we had built between us.
The irony of quarantine and social distancing is that it has taught me again the power of relationships. If we are lucky, we have friends that no matter how much time passes, we can pick up right where we left off. In 5780 all of our relationships were put to this test.
The high holidays are a time to come together with friends and family. This year many of those faces may just be boxes on a screen. Let us not be weighed down by this new reality but let us be blessed in 5781 to continue to build and maintain strong relationships that will endure in even the most difficult times. We are so lucky to have each other.
Kelly Cohen is the director of JumpSpark, Jewish teen education and engagement.