I know it’s been said over and over during the past few weeks, but this has been a Pesach we will never forget! Everyone on their own, making Pesach for the first time, or sitting alone at their Seder for the first time. Everyone isolated, but in the situation together. We reached out to each other on social media, sometimes adding some humor to lift our spirits.
We’ve been hearing every day about someone else who is sick, in the hospital, and on a respirator. And we had losses. A week before Pesach, my son-in-law lost his grandfather, Mr. Paul Feldman. The extended Feldman family used to go away together with their father and zaidie for the Seders. This year was different.
On erev Pesach, another son-in-law lost his father, Rabbi Dr. Mark Horowitz. We had just spent Purim together, but Pesach would be different.
Another son-in-law made a good observation. In the secular world they talk of six degrees of separation until you find a common connection with someone, while in the frum community the degree of separation is much smaller, one or two degrees, like they say, “If you don’t have a common acquaintance, you haven’t talked to someone long enough.” That is why in our communities, we know almost everyone who is sick or was niftar. If we don’t know someone personally, we have heard of them. Certainly the rabbanim and other community leaders are known and so many of them have been taken from us. Klal Yisrael is mourning for all these kedoshim. Lines of cars at the cemeteries waited for their turn to bury the niftarim. Only immediate family members were there, not even a minyan. The Gemara says that when there is no minyan to say Kaddish, the niftar doesn’t need the Kaddish and the neshamah goes straight to Gan Eden.
A lot of pirkei Tehillim have been said and continue to be said for the sick. We are davening at home; still no minyanim. We try to keep busy and we try to reach out to our friends and neighbors who are alone or elderly and can’t get out to shop.
I received a phone call yesterday from Moshe Harary of Shimon’s Pizza on Main Street, saying that he wants to partner with the community. He wants people to check on their neighbors and treat them to a meal from Shimon’s. Besides pizza and falafel there are pasta dishes, fish, and salads. He said that a family at home with young children would appreciate a meal. An older neighbor home alone who should not be shopping because of his or her high risk would appreciate a hot meal sent by a friend. He will deliver these meals to whomever you choose. Call him at 718-793-1491 and spread some chesed to those who need our help.
Let’s also keep davening for an end to this pandemic.
Chanita Teitz is a real estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or email email@example.com.