April 12, 2020

Horeini H’ darkecha

What a complicated decision I was forced to make before Pesach 2020.

Should I go to my children who live a mile away or stay home for 3 days alone, not only eating every yom tov meal alone, but making 2 sedorim all by myself?!

I could not make this decision on my own. Every day I would join the OU at 1PM to hear words of chizuk and to recite Tehillim together with Yidden around the world.

Horeini H’ darkecha.

And then on Monday April 6, I tuned in to SOTC’s you tube video of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Silber. I cannot begin to express my hakoras hatov to both of them for the chizuk, for the explanations of the Seder, all calming my fears of doing this alone.

And then I called my Rav, Rabbi Heinemann. He spent close to 20 minutes on the phone with me. He never actually told me NOT to go to my children and grandchildren, but there were many, many hints.

And then I remembered learning in Parashas Vayishlach, that when Yaakov Avinu retraced his steps to retrieve the pachim ketanim, he left his entire family on one side of the Yabok river, and went ALONE to the other side.  He could have taken along with him one of his 11 sons; but the Torah says VAYIVOSER YAAKOV LIVADO. Yaakov was left alone.

Maaseh Avos Siman Labonim.  Perhaps Yaakov Avinu was preparing his children, Am Yisroel, for a time that each member of the klal, with all the achdus and ahavas Yisroel, sometimes, will just have to go it alone.

Vatuchal.  And Yaakov overcame. What a legacy he transmitted to us! He went alone, fought the malach, and prevailed over the enemy.

Our enemy today is the corona virus. I (and countless of others) made the difficult choice to go it alone. I am so grateful that I had the zechus of growing up in a family that made beautiful and meaningful sedorim. I am grateful that I have made Pesach for my family for many years and had everything I needed. I am grateful that I had easy-to-follow Haggados as well as intellectual and philosophical ones (thank you Rabbi Dr A J Twerski),  filled with stories,  hashkafa, and emuna.  I am grateful for the neighbors who knocked on my door to make sure I was OK. I am grateful to my children and grandchildren who walked the mile to check up on me. I am grateful to my daughter-in-law who did the pre-Pesach shopping for me.  I am grateful for the ability to ZOOM with our rabbonim and with my family members; that I can call in for divrei chizuk and Tehillim; that I can hear countless shiurim on line and on my phone.

Truth be told, Yaakov Avinu was never alone. R” S R Hirsch explains the name YISROEL, not merely that Yaakov fought with a malach and triumphed, but that it is Hakodosh Boruch Hu who will always fight for His nation, that Yaakov’s victory over enemies will demonstrate the existence of Hashem Yisborach.

VATUCHAL. Yaakov Avinu was able to do it alone. Many of us around the world were able to do it alone. And then Yaakov returned to his family to face the next challenge in his life, his ‘reunion” with Eisav. This time, together with his wives and children.

May we all be zocheh to the nissim of our forefathers as we attempt to battle this hidden enemy that reigns upon the entire world.  Horeini H’ darkecha. Please show us how You fight for us. Please return us to our Shuls, our Yeshivos, our day schools.  Please remove Your MASK, so that we can remove ours.

May we see the coming of Moshiach bimheirah viyomeinu.

Wishing all of klal Yisroel a CHAG KOSHER VISAMEACH.

Shoshana Kruger