In this time of COVID-19, my mother will likely spend her upcoming 100th birthday sheltering at home with her caregiver. I asked her how this tsura (tragedy) is different from the time of Hitler.
Instead of longing for traditions of years past, we reveled in the joy that comes with stepping away from convention and creating new rituals that hold deep symbolic meaning – just like the Jews who fled Egypt so many years ago.
For our students, the loss of their end-of-year plans and graduation festivities is indeed a very real loss – and we should recognize it as one. I’m reminded of a powerful anecdote in Martin Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim.
During this surreal period, many of us are trying hard to keep sadness and anxiety at bay, and that’s important. It's equally important, though, to remain connected to our feelings. Each of us is giving up so many things this year – and for me, the hardest thing to lose is our Passover seder.