Most importantly, I hope that each and every one of you is doing well—health-wise and coping with the uncertainty of these times. This week, I’d like to share with you the words of Margaret Mead that I came across on one of my rabbinic discussion groups. I think the message is so relevant to today.

Many years ago, a student asked the anthropologist Margaret Mead what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about hooks, clay pots or whetstones. But she didn’t.

Mead said the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thigh bone) that had healed from a break. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You can’t run from danger, go to the river to drink water or hunt for food – injured animals or humans become fresh meat for predators. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. A broken femur that healed is evidence that someone cared for the injured, treated the wound, took the person to safety and cared for them until they recovered. Helping someone through difficulty is where civilization begins, said Mead.

We, at Beth Shalom Synagogue, are here to help you through these difficult times. Please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help if the need arises.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Teri