In “normal” times most of us rely on our routines and habits, convinced that our material comforts provide us with great security. But when those have all virtually been upended and we’re suddenly faced with any array of unknowns, we need to reach into that sacred part of ourselves to find strength, courage and vision.
Obviously, we need to be prudent, responsible and listen to the health authorities to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves, our families, and all those around us. But at the same time we must reach deeper into our inner resources and remain calm and confident as we face these challenges. This will pass and we will have been changed, I believe for the better.
And while we have no control over the virus and the events going on outside of ourselves, we do have control over what is going on inside ourselves: what our attitudes are, what message we give our children, families and friends, and how nobly we live during this unprecedented time. Despite the darkness around us, now more than ever, we embrace the ancient call of our tradition: That we embrace being agents of light, especially when that light is so much needed.
So while we may need to be socially distant for the time being, this is an opportunity to become “soulfully” closer than ever. We may be quarantined within our homes, but we are certainly not quarantined in our souls. We have the ability to reach deeper into our own hearts and souls, as we do, our loved ones, our friends, and strangers do also. Yes, these are crazy times that have resulted in new opportunities, and a great need for such soulful connections. For sure, there can be closeness even as we experience social isolation.
Let us use this opportunity to transform what may appear as a “distancing” and “isolating” experience, into a connecting and unifying experience. And let it be that when this story will be told, we will be remembered as having done everything humanly possible to mitigate the crisis, emerging as much stronger and better people in the process.
I wish you and your loved ones a Shabbat of love, tranquility and peace.
Rabbi David Greenberg