Thursday, March 26, 2020

Zoom, Skype and Coping in the Corona Lock-down

Have you Zoomed yet? A couple of weeks ago, I hadn't a clue as to what Zoom is, but now I'm a fan. Last week, just as the corona virus lock-down restrictions began to creep its way into our lives, my book club friends and I realized we couldn't have our traditional pot luck dinner meeting. We had this nasty feeling that things were going to get worse before they got better. Also with Passover rapidly approaching, we just couldn't put off our meeting. Someone suggested Zoom, so we all signed up and had a wonderful discussion about Little Women. It was rather ironic meeting in such a magical high tech way, when the book was written by hand.

My "Chevruta," Bible study group also didn't want to stop meeting. We usually meet very early Wednesday mornings in Matan before classes begin. At first we tried Whatsapp conference call, but that's for a maximum of four, and we're mostly five. Then we started learning via Skype daily, and we love it. When this corona virus lock-down ends, we're going to miss our daily get-togethers.

Yael Ziegler teaching via Zoom and FB
Once Matan realized that this lock-down was not just a few days, they got into gear. Matan now simultaneously uses Zoom and Facebook live to allow students all over the world to study together. Yesterday we had our regular classes, but watched/listened in our homes. It was amazing how quickly we managed to adjust to the app.

Both Yael Ziegler and Yael Leibowitz gave superb classes. On Zoom we can also see and hear our friends, which was very comforting in these difficult times. Nobody knows when life will return to normal.

Today was Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the first of the Jewish Month of Nissan, and I "attended" two Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayer groups. First I said Hallel together with many of my usual group. For years we've been meeting at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, where the Biblical Tabernacle had rested for close to four hundred years, Since we're now restricted to only walking near our homes, we couldn't go to Tel Shiloh, so we Zoomed. The time lag made the singing a bit less musical, but it really was great to be together praying. By the time we ended there were participants from Shiloh, Eli, Kedumim and Beit El.

Saying Hallel together from Shiloh, Eli, Kedumim and Beit El via Zoom
Matan Rosh Chodesh Prayers
Zooming from Raanana
Then I checked out the Hallel at Matan Raanana. It was also via Zoom, but done outdoors, by someone's house. Women from all over had joined in to pray together. Now with technology, to be "together" one can be miles and miles apart.

Our lives are changing so quickly. All this modern technology is certainly helping us get through Corona.

Matan will be having its traditional Pre-Passover learning on Monday March 30, 2020, but bigger and better than ever. That's because it'll all be Zoomed. The English program will consist of seven, yes, 7 lectures instead of the usual three. Top teachers from the various branches will teaching from 9am-4pm.
You can view the classes through:
Zoom: Meeting ID: 257 547 385

Yael Liebowitz on Facebook Live


Debbie Dan said...

Love Zooming! Baruch Hashem for it not only for davening together (What a treat) but also to "attend many wonderful Torah classes and especially to see grandchildren! Health to us all!

Batya said...

I remember when the OU office had the most up-to-date stuff, a photocopy machine. That was a 1960s miracle.