The last few weeks have seemed like an eternity. The regular activities that seemed so boring and mundane are being missed now like a great trip across the world. The tragedies this crazy virus brought about, the irregular agenda that has replaced our daily lives, is simply devastating.
We all feel like a big change is coming about in the world. Prophets we are not, and yet still, we can all feel something big happening during this time period. As we approached the Seder night I couldn’t help but feel an excitement in the air. On the one hand the situation around the world seemed very sad and depressing, however the resemblances to the exodus of the Jews long ago when they left Egypt were too close not to have excitement override the sadness of what this virus has caused in the world.
Every home was cleaned for Pesach, all the shops were closed, each family was in their own home and not in a hotel somewhere in Greece or some exotic island. No one was allowed to step outside their door till morning. The scene was set and all of Israel was waiting and anticipating the arrival of Eliyahu HaNavi, who would announce the Coming of the Final Redemption. And then Seder night came and went. Where was Eliyahu the prophet? Had he come? Did he forget to pass on the great news of the redemption? Did He announce it but we didn’t hear it? The following event showed me that indeed he did come.
On erev Pesach my special needs child was rushed to the hospital with some internal bleeding. The hospital said that it wasn’t anything to be alarmed about and that it seemed like a small wound that would pass shortly. They kept him for observation and sent me home for a few hours to make the Seder with my family.
I was full of hope Seder night waiting to hear the good news, waiting for Eliyahu HaNavi, to arrive. It was past midnight as I stepped outside to see if the prophet had arrived. Nothing, I heard and saw nothing. I felt disappointed but figured that He hadn’t arrived at my home just yet. I set my steps towards the hospital and went to wish my son a happy Pesach and sing with him some songs from the Haggadah. As I was approaching his room I saw a big ruckus, and the nurses rushed me away. I didn’t know what was happening, but I understood that it was trouble. Two hours later I was called into the room to be informed that there was some great complication with my son, and they just fought for hours to save his life and bring him back to me. I was frozen still, I couldn’t speak or move. The doctors urged me to enter the room and sit by his side for a while. I sat next to him and all I could do was cry; tears of joy that he was still with me, and tears of sadness at the doctor’s pessimistic words of my sons nearing the end, heaven forbid, echoed in my mind. They gave him no hope.
As I stood by his bed crying together with him, I suddenly stopped myself and realized why I hadn’t seen Eliyahu HaNavi by my front door. He was right here in the hospital, saving my dear son. I gathered myself and started hugging my son with all the love I have for him. I told him that he must be strong and that he must never give up. That I believe in him but that he must fight to get better. I wiped away his tears and I could see a small smile. I had given him and myself the strength to keep on going.
I left the hospital a few hours later to rest a bit and felt quite drained. I thought about all that happened, and it made me think how important it is to never lose our faith. How important it is to remember that there is always someone looking out for us. In our minds we have plans, we have agendas, we almost try to take the place of Hashem and run the world. And then G-d in his infinite wisdom, intervenes and sets things on the right path.
It’s important to hope, dream and believe in something great. To dream that all our wishes will come true. But what’s even more important is never to give up when it looks like all our plans or dreams are not coming true. Hashem has the master plan and we must trust in Hashem no matter what.
I’m very thankful to Hashem for sending Eliyahu the prophet to save my son, and for giving me my private redemption.
However, I am still waiting for Him to announce the full redemption for all the people of Israel. I will not lose my faith and I will keep on believing.
Today was the day that there was the blessing of the Kohanim, who bless the entire nation of Israel, at the western wall. This spectacular event is usually filled with thousands of Jews. It was sad and barren with only ten or twelve people there, who were allowed entry despite the virus, to be allowed to pray on behalf of the rest of Israel.
As I saw this sad scene I heard and felt for the first time the words we say by rote every day in our prayers, in the verse of “RETZE” (in the Shemone Esrei prayer), which says May Hashem desire our prayers once more and return the work of the Beit HaMikdash to the people of Israel.
G-d will accept our prayers with love… and we yearn to see G-d return to Zion. With the Kotel empty like that I could really feel how much we miss having the Beit HaMikdash.
Keep believing and keep praying and we shall see the final redemption in Jerusalem, please G-d, soon. Amen.