White Oak Pond, Women and Tehillim: Staying Connected During COVID

August 26, 2020

By Miriam Schachter, LCSW for The Times of Israel

On March 12th, my husband and I left New York, and drove to our own personal slice of Gan Eden, on White Oak Pond, in Holderness, New Hampshire. We are deeply attached to this part of the world, as we’ve  been spending summers here for more than 40 years. We were coming to New Hampshire, to get away from New York. In March we felt surrounded by impending danger, and thought we’d be safer in an area with fewer people, more open spaces and cleaner air.

Because of the COVID reality in New York, after being in New Hampshire for just a few days we decided to remain here for the foreseeable future, which meant Pesach on White Oak Pond in the middle of Galut! An unreal concept. But we were living in unreal times. We drove to NY,  stocked up with Pesach provisions and made our way back to Holderness. Not only did we celebrate Pesach in Holderness, we were here for Shavuot as well. We worried about the quality of our chagim, just the two of us without our family and community. Much to our surprise and delight, we enjoyed meaningful and delightful Yamim Tovim.

God blessed this corner of the earth with magnificent natural beauty. We live on a pristine and serene lake, surrounded by large and shady trees. The air is clear, and smells fresh. The lake water sparkles during the day, and the moon shines on the water at night.  Our drinking water comes directly from our own well 550 feet below ground.

What is not present here in our Gan Eden, is an observant Jewish community.

Even though we celebrated 2 of the 3 Shalosh Regalim here on the lake, as time marched on, I was missing my connection with my synagogue community.

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