The Passover seder teaches that there are four types of children. This year, we are all these four children:
We are the children who do not know what to ask. The news headlines are overwhelming and yet we still feel uninformed. We cannot even formulate our questions because change comes quickly, and we cannot fully articulate our worries or fears.
We are the simple children. We have discovered what it means to focus on simplicity: having our basic needs met, paring our lives down to what can be done at a distance from others, craving the moments we can go outside in the sunshine and pollen. Our new normal is finding fulfillment in simple pleasures, taking nothing for granted.
We are the wicked children. We complain about what we have, forgetting that others would do anything to be in our shoes. We get annoyed about the abundance of “family time,” or grump about the grocery stores. We feel the pull to place blame on others — other leaders, other countries, other people — for this situation, whether justified or not.
And, most importantly, we are the wise children. We take time to breathe and be aware each moment is a gift. We see our blessings and wonder how we can share our gifts with others in these unique circumstances. We remember that we are part of the Jewish community, resilient because of our faith and our commitment to one another and our world. We remember that we are part of humanity, with the constant responsibility to look beyond ourselves.
Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus is one of the clergy at The Temple.