February 9, 2021

Now we wait. Wait for what? Well, with Sunday having been the Super Bowl, it was the latest in a string of holidays/gatherings that we all typically get together with others to celebrate. Thankfully, the next possible gathering, according to the calendar is most likely Passover (at least for the Jewish community.) And so, we will see how responsible people were about watching this year’s Super Bowl at home with only the people they live with. I am hopeful this was the case because if it was not, we may find ourselves being forced back into another Stay-at-Home order, and I do not think many of us would like that to happen again.


It is interesting to be writing this as the number of available vaccinations has increased. I saw in a report yesterday that last week, an average of 1.3 million vaccinations per day were administered. So things are really beginning to ramp up, but there is still over 90% of the US population that is waiting for their first dose. But the light is getting brighter as each day, more and more people get the vaccine. And the more people who do, the quicker life will return to some sense of pre-COVID normalcy.


I know that I sometimes find myself feeling a sense of frustration in knowing that my “future” is in the hands of people other than myself. And yet, when I feel this way, I remind myself that since we can only change what is within our control, there is no benefit from becoming too frustrated. Plus, our tradition instructs of this sort of thing.


In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Tarfon taught, “It is not our duty to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it either.” (Avot 2:16) To put this in modern terms, even though we individually cannot bring about the end to COVID, we still must do everything within our power to try.


Think about how much worse things could be if we were not actively doing what we could by wearing our masks, washing our hands, remaining in our homes as much as we can, etc. By following the guidelines, which we are reminded to help keep us safe and prevent us from spreading COVID, we are fulfilling Rabbi Tarfon’s teaching. Plus, the alternatives are so much worse.


Remember that your actions can and do impact others. And, with Judaism also teaching us that we are responsible for one another, it is less about a personal choice but rather our obligation.


Keep up the great work you are doing and continue hanging in there. Let’s not blow it now that we keep inching closer and closer to the “end.”


Add Comment