Bidud. It was the latest buzzword. The thing everyone was talking about. And, for almost 5 months it was the thing we had succeeded to avoid. Until last Thursday. As I arrived at my son’s maon I felt the panic. The pieces being thrown together. Mitapelet Carona. The one person who was in and out of all the classes. Positive test. Maon closed until 4/8. 14 days. Bidud starts now.

I remember calling my husband in tears. I remember the afternoon being a blur. Constant texts from friends, their decisions to place their whole families into bidud. Not knowing what we would do. And later, for the first time that day, my husband and I sitting down to talk.

Katie, he told me. We have two floors. The kids love kaytana. They love the park. They love the walks. Why lock in 4 kids, 6 and under, when only one needs to be alone? Go into bidud with Gedalia upstairs. We will stay downstairs. We will be okay.

I went upstairs in a state of shock. How will my kids survive without me? But most of all, I was wondering what everyone else would say. Here we had an opportunity for family bonding and we passed it up. Besides that, surely we couldn’t actually do bidud according to the rules all under one roof. Or at least surely that’s what I convinced myself everyone would think.

We survived Friday and Shabbos. My husband and I ate dinner on fine China on the stairs. Him on the first floor and me on the second. I played all sorts of word games with my older two that could be played from a distance. And yet when motzai Shabbos came around again I felt stuck.

I needed to ask for help. Can someone take my older kids home from kaytana? I didn’t explain that I had left activites downstairs for them. I again braced myself for the judgement. They were coming home when just I was there? Clearly we were doing bidud wrong. But the judgement didn’t come. Instead came offers for help. Rides home. Playdates. Offers if I needed anything while my husband was at work. Toys for all of my kids, as the neighbor explained, because even if they are not in bidud, they are not feeling this any less. Texts of support, understanding that bidud with one kid while the others still need love is hard.

So to my friends, to my amazing community, thank you. For reminding me that its okay to go in one direction, even when it seems that the rest of the world is going in the other. And for reminding me again what most of us need to hear. Judgement has no place here . Our family chose what was right for us and our beautiful friends and community stepped in to help and support; teaching us that when trying to raise a family, really only judgement belongs in bidud.

About the Author
Katie Lazarus is an American-Israeli Physiotherapist who enjoys writing in her spare time. She lives with her husband and four children in Migdal HaEmek.
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