Staying Busy in a Time of Isolation

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many of us throughout the world are under quarantine or self-imposed isolation. Most shuls have been closed, and even private minyans have become inadvisable. Needless to say, we’re all going to be spending a lot more time alone.

This can be a difficult thing for those who thrive on community. Nevertheless, Hashem is always with us, and in the lonely days ahead we can find comfort in Him and His Torah. Here are some resources to help make the most of our time apart (or together, as the case may be):

Image: Rami Neimi

Chabad has been compiling a variety of articles about faith and peace during the outbreak, and are even an offering an online class on how to deal with stress and anxiety. Both the USCJ and the URJ have posted articles related to communication and synagogue life when meeting is not possible, even offering some creative ideas for getting together using the Internet. Aish has reading material about how to stay positive during this pandemic, and even how to talk to your kids about what is happening. The Orthodox Union has some similar materials on their website, and now has a nightly show premiering online at 8 p.m ET.

If entertainment is your thing, the URJ and Chabad have a variety of podcasts available. YouTube is, of course, a source of much Jewish entertainment and wisdom. J-TV, Hidabroot, YIBONEH, JINSIDER, and Chabad are some of the Jewish channels with hours of information and entertainment available. Rabbis Manis Friedman and Jonathan Sacks have some good messages with which to start.

Last, but most certainly not least: don’t hesitate to turn to prayer or Tanakh for comfort. Shiva.com has a nice list of Psalms to get you started.

What are you and your family doing to stay busy during this time? What methods are you using to stay in touch with your loved ones and your community? Are there any Jewish podcasts, online services, or YouTube channels you would recommend? Feel free to comment and share.

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