Dovber Chaiton

Seize the Moment

This thought is in the merit of all those battling Corona Virus, that they should all be healthy and well with complete recoveries.

Corona virus has re-shaped our lives. Social-distancing, self-isolation and a never ending battle for relevance in the moment. When life is trimmed down to bare bones who and what still remains relevant?

When we eventually emerge from the cocoon that hopefully shelters us from the horrors of this awful plague, those that were relevant during the pandemic will no-doubt have our minds and our money after the pandemic. Scientists and doctors, bless them, are working feverishly to eradicate the evils of this plague but the indomitable creativity of society will no doubt leave lingering upsides.

Via Zoom, a man in the deserts of Nevada may have discovered a Torah teacher in Toronto and continue learning in this manner. So while geographically we have never been more confined, we have also never been more expansive in where we seek and find relevance.

Those that have captivated the relevance of the time best are those that have given us the ability to understand and fully appreciate the moment and live in it.

Whether it was a sympathetic Rov who gave sensitive guidelines to a mother who was managing a family and cleaning for pesach. This rov captured the moment.

Or the man who hasn’t missed a minyan in 3 years who understood that his G-dly duty until further notice was to daven alone. This man captured the moment.

Or an immediate family member whose farewell to a loved one was a fleeting glance at the passing of a hearse, the brevity and entirety of such a funeral captures the moment.

L’havdil, a kallah whose big day becomes more memorable because out of the few that should’ve been there, a multitude cheered from their yards and porches, this bride captures the moment.

And for many, family has captured this time best.

For some it is the family that have been tragically lost, for others it is family that have miraculously recovered. Some families are comprised of doctors and nurses that heroically brave the pandemic and face it on the front lines and others are now the principals and teachers of their own home schools as they heroically never let their children feel that the uncertainty of the next paycheck or business sale is real.

In our isolation, we are united as we all live through the moments of this devastating pandemic. On a personal scale, this virus will be defining. Our own emotions battle for relevancy within us and every battle we win under the fire of this pandemic will no doubt be medals of experience that we will tap into during civilian times.

The all encompassing nature of this pandemic has kept us in a “moment” for too long but there is a lesson in that.

Pesach like any other Jewish holiday is family-centric. But at the very essence of Pesach there is something that is so uniquely familial. The Korbon Pesach. The sacrifice was eaten as a chaburah, a family. And you had to be in the moment.

A person who fell asleep while eating the Korbon Pesach was not allowed to continue eating and any meat of the sacrifice that was leftover had to be burned. The Korbon had to be consumed in the moment, anyone who wanted to try and recapture the experience of the sacrifice after its time was simply not allowed to.

As we enter a unique Pesach, let’s capture the positive experience of the Chag. Allow the children to shine, discover new qualities in people we have been with for a long time, or if we are quarantined alone, discover new qualities in the person who has lived with us for the longest time possible, let’s take the time to savor the moment and discover ourselves.

Seize the moment! Chag Sameach!

About the Author
Dovber Chaiton was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. After matriculating, he went on to study for a further 3 years at Yeshivat Beis Dovid in Qiryat Gat, Israel. After receiving smicha from the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, New Jersey, he settled in Los Angeles with his wife and children, he is a teacher at the Emek Hebrew Academy and offers insight on Jewish education with a unique brand of humor.
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