Moving forward when time stands still

Usually during this time of the year, my wife and I are deeply engaged in getting ready for our annual Pesach retreat. We refer to it as the “PPPPPP” (Post-Purim Pre-Pesach Preparation-Period), but now the last two words seem to have become something like “pandemic plague”.
by Rabbi Ari Kievman, Chabad Goodness and Kindness Centre | Mar 19, 2020

The current global situation has created much uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. Many are grappling with the loss of a sense of certainty that has now become the norm. Plans are up in the air, businesses are struggling, and so much of our daily routine has been disrupted.

The very first mitzvah (commandment) that G-d instructed the Jewish people to do before our departure from Egyptian bondage was called Kiddush HaChodesh (sanctifying time). By establishing the beginning of each month, we can determine when each of the Jewish holidays will be. With most commandments we uplift an object, but this one affects the entire flow of time.

How appropriate to read about this message now as we do this Shabbos, when time seems to be at a standstill. Judaism teaches us that nothing is random, and that every difficulty is an opportunity for personal and communal spiritual growth.

How do we make the best of this situation? Amidst our fears, are we strengthening our trust and faith that G-d will protect us? Can we remain positive and optimistic in the face of difficulty and challenge?

With our kids off school, now is a perfect time to reconnect and bond with our loved ones. We can seize the moment to fortify our homes with Torah study, and to promote Jewish values. So many of our shuls have been offering online classes in lieu of the usual learning schedules. Perhaps we can go inwards and reconfigure the trajectory of our lives with ourselves, our loved ones, and G-d.

Let’s embrace the fact that while we can control some things like taking proper health precautions and following guidelines, we can’t control everything. After doing our part, we can rest calmly with absolute faith that whatever happens is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Let’s keep the faith that all is according to divine plan. We were in G-d’s hands all along, and continue to be.

Torah teaches us that whenever confronted with a challenging situation, our mitzvahs and acts of kindness can generate positive energy from above to combat negativity. Consider performing another mitzvah in the merit of world health and stability.

This is a time to look out for each other and be supportive in whatever way we can. If you know anyone who is in quarantine, or the elderly and more vulnerable, consider reaching out with support. Channelling your energy towards helping others will help you to deal with your own stress.

As we bless the upcoming month of miracles this Shabbos, we pray to the almighty for protection, healing, and good news for all.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Ephraim 21 Mar
    Thank you for the encouraging words during these trying times, rabbi. 

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