Rain and pandemic can’t stop a TKA holiday walk.

Even though it sure wasn’t the type of holidays I had expected early this year, it ended up being just as meaningful.  We’ll write up 2020 in the history books as the 11th plague!

We have a neat little tradition every Yom Kippur mid-afternoon at Temple Kol Ami in West Bloomfield.  A group of us take a one-hour reflective walk to the pond in the subdivision across the street.  It’s a truly wonderful experience, especially when the holidays coincide with the fall color change … the ring of trees around that lake when the leaves have turned is mind-blowing.

This year, of course, the Temple was closed and because there would be no police officer present to safely help us to cross busy Walnut Lake Road, we decided to meet at Drake Sports Park and walk on its nice trail.

As you may recall, the weather wasn’t exactly pretty on Yom Kippur.  But toward the end of the morning service that our congregants watched on Facebook, I typed a message in the comment section that, regardless of the weather and the pandemic, I was once again going to lead our traditional walk.  A dozen of us showed up, masks on and umbrellas in hand.

Since God was probably a little busy Monday granting atonement to the world’s Jews, I’ll give Mother Nature credit for stopping the rain just after we started the walk.  It was still raining when we snapped the above photo, but it steadily tapered off as we started walking, and the umbrellas were folded back up.

As I reflect back on that, I’m so happy that we kept the tradition going.  I got home from the walk, and then watched our afternoon, Yizkor and concluding services online, which were equally beautiful.  All-in-all, I had a very meaningful Yom Kippur.

By Paul Gross

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