Sara Krengel

The Bright Side of Corona – Lessons We Can Learn On The Eve Of Yom Kippur


Yom Kippur is a day of introspection. It is a time to make a personal accounting (Cheshbon Hanefesh), and to learn lessons from past mistakes and experiences. But it’s not just about what needs fixing, it is also a time to be close to God and express gratitude for all that He does for us. On that note, and before we head outdoors for our prayers, I’d like to express the good things that have emerged from Covid-19:

  1. People now fully appreciate and understand that they need people. There is no replacement on earth for the human being, and no screen in the world is big enough to change that.
  2. Family First is no longer a slogan. Family bonding, togetherness and cooperation is at an all time high.
  3. Sometimes the little things in life are really the big things and vice versa.
  4. Giving, concern for others and self-sacrifice have taken a front seat in the public discourse.
  5. Gratitude for healing, for modern medicine, and for life itself.
  6. We have come to realize that education cannot be screen based, sorry Kahn Academy. As Rabbi Berel Wein put it: “We are all zoomed out.”
  7. Fresh air is amazing and nature is a sight to behold.
  8. Judaism carries on no matter what. God, just look at what your children do for you – in rain, snow or shine.
  9. The famous Talmudic saying: “All Jews are responsible for one another,” has never been truer. Rodgers and Hammerstein put it beautifully in their famous song: “You’ll never walk alone.”
  10. Necessity is the mother of invention.
  11. Perseverance, Positivity, Perspective and Proportion are the order of the day.
  12. All humans are fallible and frail.
  13. Nothing lasts forever. This too shall pass.
  14. Look at what’s right instead of looking at what’s wrong.
  15. Weaker populations matter. Old/young, weak/strong, sick/healthy, disabled/fully functioning, are all equal in the eyes of God.
  16. Money isn’t everything.
  17. No one knows everything, we have to work together.
  18. Self-awareness.
  19. Learning to let go of control. We don’t run the world. There is a master plan.
  20. Hugs and Kisses are the language of the human soul, and boy do we miss them!
  21. Appreciation for being alive, having food to eat, technology to heal and connect, medical professionals, and all the good people in this world who make a difference – and there are many.

Yom Kippur is a day filled with hope, a day when we are forgiven for all of our sins and we start with a clean slate. Hope is a necessity for the human psyche – it gives us the ability to move forward and to keep trying. Gratitude for all the good that we have, combined with hope for the new year ahead, will definitely help us get through this Corona storm!

Wishing all of Am Yisrael, and the whole world, a wonderful year ahead filled with meaning, health, life, love and laughter!

About the Author
Teacher of Jewish Philosophy, Family Purity, and the Jewish take on dating and marriage; Mikveh Tour Guide; proud mother of 6 AMAZING kids; Rebbetzin; American Israeli who is in love with the Jewish People, Torah and Eretz Yisrael!
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