Wednesday April 7 is the first Passover seder and I will be having it alone for the first time ever, which is sad for me. During the eight days we abstain from "Chametz" (bread products basically), we reflect about the 10 plagues God bestowed on Egypt for Pharaoh's resistance to letting the Hebrew slaves leave. Hashem brought the Jews out of Egypt with a "strong hand," and we hope he delivers us from this current plague of sorts called COVID 19
I certainly have been back and forth on facebook with friends and political opponents for weeks now arguing whom to blame, and how this is all going. But I've decided today to start showing gratitude -- which is one of the most important tenets of Judiasm I have learned since moving toward Orthodoxy starting in 2012. So, here are 10 things I am grateful for (1 for each plague, I guess) as we wend our way through this COVID 19 crisis and reflect on Pesach:
1. I am grateful for having two beautiful and succesful children, Jamie and Lara, and for the great upbringing my ex wife, Lynn, gave them.
2. I am grateful for a wonderful Brother, Bob, who is a doctor and who has helped me quite a lot especially with my most-recent thyroid removal operation and recovery. I also am grateful for my sister, Gwen, who has also come to God and is so cute and wonderful. we all love her so much.
3. I am grateful to my brother's three wonderful kids, Alison, Scott and Jenny. They have grown to be great adults and hope we can all meet again.
4. I am grateful for Bobs wife, Patti, and her brother and sister, Bill Bernstein and Sue Kohn, for sparring with me on Facebook and keeping my feet to the fire, especially sue and bob for their dedication to their profession as they can get ill very easily since tey are seeing patients throughout this crisis.
5. I am grateful to the folks in my synagogue, B'Nai Israel, particularly all the great rabbis who have taught me torah and the various mitzvot and have helped me be a better person.
6. I am grateful to the first responsders, medics and medical professionals for what they are doing to combat this virus and try to help people get better.
7. i am grateful for having work and an income and having saved for retirement. I am blessed to have health insuracne and hope the Republicans in Congress will get off the dime and come up with a more-suitable health care system for more people
8. I am grateful to our elected leaders of both parties for doing what they can to help us through this crisis.
9. I am grateful to the citizens of Leesburg and local friends who helped me win elections and serve the community in particularly, my good friend, Councilman Tom Dunn.
10 . MOST IMPORTANT I am grateful to HASHEM for the wonders he has brought and for life.
Baruch Hashem. Zissim Pesach.
Katriel David ben Aaron Shmoel