Despite the challenging times we’re living in, Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin began the third and final session of the Rey’im series on Mar. 26 with a celebration of Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the new Hebrew month.

“Every spirit and soul praises God,” said Rabbi Cardin, co-creator of the virtual workshop program to train “spiritual companions” during the pandemic. “That’s what is going to get us through this time. Hopefully, this will be a better, healing month.”

Thirty-four people participated in the Zoom series with Rabbi Cardin, a local spiritual leader, educator and author, and Beth Gansky, executive director of Acharai: The Shoshana S. Cardin Jewish Leadership Institute.

During the last hour-long session, participants shared some of the ways they benefited from Rey’im. One person said she learned to put a smile on her face to brighten her day. Another said she committed herself to doing something daily that brings her joy. Another said she learned to take “things one day at a time.”

Gansky told participants to try to also elicit feelings from the people in their lives. For example, she said to ask them, “On a scale of one to 10, how are you feeling today? How do you think you’ll feel tomorrow?”

She also provided tips on being an “active listener” with others, including:

• Remembering the acronym WAIT (Why am I talking?)

• Tell a companion that you are listening to them

• Asking permission to broach difficult topics or ask personal questions

• Respect your companion’s reluctance to share

• Keep in mind that you might not be able to fix your companion’s problems

• Thank your companion for expressing their feelings or personal information when they do share