I decided it was time to stop wallowing in hatred of my living space and do something more productive. It was time to start looking for somewhere else to live. So I started by looking for other places to live in my current town. But the living options in my town are so-so. Not so great.
Then I thought, well, actually, I don’t have to stay in the same town. I am still WFH and although the synagogue has started meeting in-person in a limited socially distanced way, I’ve been going to Zoom services elsewhere.
So I started looking at places to live in a different Jewish community nearby that I don’t live in, but that I’ve been to and know pretty well. Because my first instinct was that of course I need to live in a Jewish community.
Let me clarify here that by “Jewish Community”, I mean, a place with an infrastructure for egalitarian semi-observant Jewish life – an appropriate egalitarian synagogue community, housing options within a reasonable walking distance of the synagogue for Shabbat, grocery stores/restaurants with kosher food, an eruv (string boundary that defines a domain so people can carry items within it on Shabbat).
So I looked at the living options in this other Jewish community and I wasn’t thrilled with what I was seeing. And also, I was not sure this Jewish community was an improvement over the one where I currently live.
Then I thought, if we’re all remote anyway – not going to synagogue / services over Zoom, not spending Shabbat meals with others – does living in a Jewish community really matter?
It is ironic that I am asking this given that I’m on the board of the congregation. We have had so many conversation about how to support the community at this time and what does it mean to be a community. In certain ways, the congregation community has expanded; we have former members joining our Zoom events from across the country.
But it also begs the question of why bother to stay within walking distance of if everything is going to be remote?