April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We Cannot Always Control Events, But We Can Control How We React to Them

The coronavirus outbreak has upended all segments of global society like no other event since World War II. In reaction, some segments of society, including medical professionals, emergency workers and food suppliers have exhibited outstanding service above and beyond, often at great personal risk.

Another group that has distinguished itself during this crisis has been our rabbanim—local, institutional, and world-wide—with the help, of course, of numerous shul volunteers. For many years shuls seemed to be running on autopilot, with routine daily, weekly and Yom Tov schedules, shiurim, classes, daf yomim and more, often belying the amount of work taking place in the background to make these activities seem flawless.

However, with the sudden shuttering of shuls, cancellation of minyanim, suspension of all communal programs and activities in shuls and homes, our rabbis have shown outstanding imagination and innovation in providing meaningful activities within the confines of severe social constraints, many virtually, through social media and technology like Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and Portal. Thus, pre-Pesach classes were held, drashas given, shailas answered, individuals in need attended to, and communal spirit still maintained even when separated. All of these were accomplished at the spur of the moment with little advance warning and time for preparation.

One activity in particular that our family found so meaningful was the “mock seder” advocated by Rav Rimon of Israel, which was held just before the “real” first seder. Our whole family joined together virtually from our separate tables, and it was a huge success, with everyone joining in and contributing many of their customary stories, songs and comments. It really made a great difference to what would have been otherwise very depressing Seder nights.

A hearty yasher kochachem to our rabbanim, the other unsung heroes of this pandemic.

Max Wisotsky
Highland Park
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