Corona and values

Endless discussions. Synagogues, theatres, restaurants, parks, schools, flights… etc etc…

For each rule, for each prohibition, a hundred exceptions. They drive us crazy, it’s true. They make and un-make rules every ten minutes.

But the discussions, the doubts, the arguments… teach us something about our people. A couple of these arguments caught my attention:

  1.  We need an exception to the rule that forbids going more than 500 meters from your house, to allow the taking of a child of divorced parents from one parent to the other…

The fact that someone even thought about this, I find very moving…

Our situation reminds me of a war situation. Bombs are falling. Everybody must stay in bunkers. Common sense requires it, the law requires it, the police require it.

There are exceptions, of course. Doctors, medical staff… If someone is wounded he must be taken to the hospital. Ambulances will help him break the law. The police will help him. The same applies to sick people who need treatment; to care givers for the elderly; to a child who got lost from his parents in the middle of the bombing… Certainly the authorities will help him break the law and find his parents.

But in the middle of all this, in the middle of this chaos, there is a child who is not lost. He is exactly where he should be, with one of his parents. But it’s already been a day or two or a week and it’s time for this child to go and be with his other parent. Maybe this child misses the other parent very much, maybe he doesn’t. But this is the agreement that his parents made years ago, believing that it’s the best for the child.

And to keep to this agreement… in the middle of the war, in the middle of the bombing, the police will stop traffic, the military will send an armored vehicle and a helicopter; everybody will break the rules in order to transport this child in peace and in health to his other parent…

And in a few days this whole operation will be repeated, this time to take the child back in the opposite direction…

As someone who was separated and who knew well the anxiety of waiting to see my daughter at the arranged times… I’m impressed and moved that someone thought that this issue is important; and that it appeared on the list of topics to be discussed at government meetings.

2. Endless discussions about synagogues… how to allow the prayers there to take place.

And what impresses me here is that the charedim (ultra-orthodox) are putting up a serious fight to allow the non-religious public to go to synagogues on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

The charedim are not fighting for their own benefit. They will certainly pray in some synagogue; they will certainly have a minian (the 10 men necessary for certain prayers). They’ll manage.

They are fighting for the ‘people’… For the millions who go to synagogue only on these days. For those, closing the synagogues means that they will not go to prayers; that they will not hear the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashana…

It’s for them that the charedim are fighting. It’s for them that Minister Litzman quit his position, in protest.

And this moving act of kindness, of love, of worry coming from one part of the nation towards another, is something that we should pay attention to, we should open our eyes well in order to see it.

Unfortunately we often don’t see the kindness, even when it exists.

David Wolf

Setembro de 2020

About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.
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