passover celebration focuses in part on the remembrance of ten plagues. the focal plague was the tenth plague, the death of the first-born egyptians. the thousands of year old celebration of passover is to be held annually for all eternity. the celebration include the seder which is the retelling of the tale. as it is stated in exodus chapter 19, “and this day shall be for you as a memorial, and you shall celebrate it as a festival for the lord; throughout your generations, you shall celebrate it as an everlasting statute.”
passover’s toah reference is noted in exodus chapter 19. it indicates that “[t]he lord will pass to smite the egyptians, and he will see the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, and the lord will pass over the entrance, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses to smite [you]. ” further, ” and it will come to pass if your children say to you, what is this service to you? you shall say, it is a passover sacrifice to the lord, for he passed over the houses of the children of israel in egypt when he smote the egyptians, and he saved our houses. and the people kneeled and prostrated themselves. ”
the exodus’ plagues had moral implications. they were exacted for the purpose of freeing the hebrew slaves from bondage and oppression. an individual’s covid-19 infection, in contrast, has no necessary moral attachment to it. by the nature of the disease’s transmission, many individuals became infected regardless their moral actions. for example, assisted living facilities residents did nothing to deserve infection or death by covid-19. the covid-19 virus had no agenda and played no favorites. in stating this, it is understood and appreciated that there were certain individuals who were at risk due to certain medical conditions and age. these risk factors, however, had no moral implications attached.
covid-19 caused many in society to remain housebound: they, like the hebrews on their eventful night, wait for the pandemic’s passing.
each person’s covid-19 experience has been profoundly different. my family had no serious problems. we took precautions and limited contact with our elderly parents. since the onset, however, i have encountered individuals with a wide range of impacts. there are those who had the disease which amounted to a week or two of bad symptoms: to those who have recovered with residual symptoms: to those who have had profound and lingering medical problems: and to those who have had family members who have passed.
my most vivid covid-19 encounter was talking to a doctor concerning his son. he was emotionally shaken by from his son’s extensive and continuing treatment in and out of an intensive care unit.
the encounter with the doctor changed my perception of covid-19. covid-19 reduced a medical professional was a parent unable to help and in dispair. he went from a healer to a concerned parent with hopes and prayers for his child.
covid-19 was multi-dimensional on an emotional level. there are those suffering absolute heart break, to those happy to survive and trying to be optimistic, to those with little concern. further, there are those who unaffected by covid-19, but are angry over the restrictiveness within society.
others have also been impacted emotionally by virtue of the economic standstill and the interruptions to businesses. the covid-19 economic policies have caused emotional harm as well. this serious matter, however, is not part of this essay’s topic.
the passover celebration is about humility. it is to be celebrated as if we were the slaves in eqypt being freed. it is a remembrance that is to be celebrated with strangers. it is a time of kindness.
have we as individuals learned anything about how to treat others during a pandemic?
this is a subject of much debate. did individuals in your community change in anyway for the better? sadly, i hear accounts of individuals cutting in line for testing and the vaccine shots. there have been some accounts of kindness as well. these accounts, are we the same humanity that started the pandemic? are we not much better? perhaps are we, in some measure, worse?
covid-19 changed my conduct. i speak cautiously and limit joking about the pandemic. i limit complaining about the safety precautions. i accept the wearing masks in stores as a means of showing respect. i tip more generously at restaurants, hair salons, etc. to help out and show appreciation for those working and their families.
humility, empathy, and sympathy are three components that help individuals to connect with others in a meaningful matter. did covid-19 have any impact on these feelings?
in sum, has there been a change in yourself and your communities due to covid 19? for better or worse? perhaps, this can be a seder discussion topic. for those not celebrating passover, perhaps this is a time to reflect on this topic as well.
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