“Just because it’s the end of February and we haven’t had any snowstorms yet here in New York, just remember that there could still be even in the month of April. Winter is not over yet, so be prepared.” It was February 25th at 8:15 am when I heard these words said by my graduate school professor. It snows here in April, I asked?! Growing up in hot, humidy, Texas, snow in April was like thinking something such as a COVID- 19 pandemic would arrive. “Man plans and God laughs”, the saying goes.
This year, many of us may now have a better understanding of what exactly that means. Plans to spend Pesach at hotels, airplane tickets, trips, aufrufs, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, 300 guest weddings, dinners, parties, galas, seders with family and friends, all planned months ago and now canceled. The emotions, the money, the hard work, all the time invested- now all down the drain.
Why is happening to us? What’s going on? Why can’t I just spend Pesach with Grandma and Grandpa this year because we do it every year? Why do I have to spend Pesach alone? We ask such questions because as humans, we try to make sense of the world around us. Being a student, I can assure you that nothing becomes more frustrating than when you get a 99 on an exam. What did I get wrong?! It’s only one point, what’s the big deal? That 1 point I didn’t get correct.
As we look for the answers to find the “silver lining” in this pandemic, here is my suggestion: stop looking for the silver lining. It could take months, even years, and you will get stressed out. Instead, make it simple: remember it’s all up to God and He will show you one day. Read the story of Yetiziat Mitzrayim if you don’t understand. If that still can’t convince you, read the story of Purim. That one day is all we need.
When that one day comes, remember that it may come when you least expect it. Stay strong and don’t forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
Chag Pesach Kasher V’sameach.