Streaming services? Check. Virtual Choirs? Working on it.
But has anyone given any thought to the fact that the traditional texts of our familiar prayers need to be updated as well?
I therefore present my revised, COVID-era text for the iconic prayer of supplication and humility which is chanted by the cantor each year–the Hineni:
Here I stand, pixilated and buffering before You, streaming on behalf of your people Israel, even though my wifi is insufficient for the task. Therefore, as I stand frozen before you because my internet connection is unstable, I beseech you—the CEO of Zoom, the CEO of Facebook, and the CEO of Microsoft—I plead for help as I livestream my prayers for those I represent and who have entrusted me with the shul’s Zoom login credentials.
Do not judge them for my poor video quality, nor charge them because of my personal search history. Let there be no service outage to obstruct my prayer. Accept my prayer as the prayer of one who is uniquely qualified—someone who is wearing pants and is in a pleasant, well-lit room. Remove all firewalls and passwords.
May my prayer reach the cloud.
Praised are You, who unmutes everyone’s prayers.