jlink
Monday, October 26, 2020
Advertisement
Share

Can we cancel 2020? Like simply skipping directly to 2021? Will anyone be upset about it?

I have seen many funny memes about 2020. But one particular meme got me to laugh pretty hard. It’s actually not about 2020 but about the Jewish current year, 5780.

“They say our action on the High Holidays determine what will be decreed for the upcoming year. So whatever the heck you guys did last year, please don’t do it again!” LOL.

After LOL’ing. It got me thinking about “cancelling 2020” and “cancelling 5780.” And then, a quote came to mind. A quote that is simply so perfect for our situation. The quote is from Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe. He was imprisoned and tortured in soviet Russia because of his work to spread Judaism behind the iron curtain. After he was released from prison, his chasidim asked him how he felt about it.

Advertisement

He replied: “If I would be offered millions to experience one more moment of suffering—I wouldn’t buy. And if anyone would want to pay me millions to take away one moment of my suffering—I wouldn’t sell!”

The Rebbe didn’t elaborate further, but I think that the message is simple. Challenges are difficult, but they can also uplift you. One should never choose to experience challenges, but in hindsight we can appreciate how they made us better.

So I don’t want to cancel 5780.

Not the moments that forced me to take a step back from the hustle of life.

Not the moments that reminded me what’s important and what’s less important.

Not the new appreciation to who is essential and what is not truly essential.

Not the beauty I saw all around me, when the entire country simply rallied to help one another.

Not the feeling of closeness to God when I prayed from the bottom of my heart that things should get better already.

Not the time spent with my family with very little distraction.

Do I want more of it? Not even if you pay me millions. But I do know that 5780 had many gifts. Hidden, but gifts nonetheless.

Onward and upward!


Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the rabbi at Chabad of Hackensack and a member of Chabad.org’s editorial board.

Share