April 12, 2024
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April 12, 2024
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A Gabbai and Chazzan, Working From Home

This year we, the Jewish community, spent Pesach at home with our immediate families, many of us for the first time in a long time. In these unprecedented times, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and extended family were left to spend the Seders and long Yom Tovim alone.

Each year previously, my family has spent Pesach away in a hotel where I have been the chazzan and host. In those years we gathered and enjoyed without a care in the world. Of course this year was different. The change, due to the coronavirus, was the first time since I got married that I was able to spend Pesach alone with my wife and children.

Throughout the year I am a gabbai and work with people who have yahrzeits, members who need to say Kaddish and members who need to daven Shacharit. For now, that has all changed.

Even though I miss the shul, I know that everyone has a chiyuv (obligation) to daven and there are pesukim that we daven in shul that we never really look at, or just say as a matter of course. People, after 50 years of not missing a minyan, are now at home and davening, and looking at pesukim that perhaps they never really clearly looked at in their lives. Perhaps this is what Hashem wanted us to see, and to connect with our inner selves and be with our family. One day, when we go back to shul, we hopefully will appreciate what we have.

On Pesach, when we said this night is different than any other night, we weren’t kidding: It was different, and in some ways this difference was good. It is, of course, incredibly unfortunate that there have been so many heartbreaking tragedies. Perhaps this time can be viewed as a wake-up call and at the end it can be l’shana haba b’yerushalayim (next year in Jerusalem).

Chaim Kiss
Teaneck
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