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03/18/2020 04:30:00 PM


Rabbi Jeff Miller

Yesterday morning my mother was taken by ambulance from a walk-in-clinic to South Nassau Hospital. She had “the symptoms” for a few days already, but she was generally coping well. Until she wasn’t. When she stopped being so adamant in her refusal to get checked out, my sister, with whom she lives, knew it was time for an x-ray.

At the clinic, the staff didn’t like the way my sister looked and sounded, so she too had a glossy photo taken of her lungs. Together they then traveled in the ambulance, febrile, cranky, and coughing. Think Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur. They were both discharged with a 14 day self-quarantine order.

What does one do when he cannot visit his 90-year-old mother in the hospital or at her home? I sat at my desk in an empty office with the phones mostly silent. Except for that one call from an angry client, furious that I consented to adjourn a motion in a courthouse that has been locked down. That I gave ice in the winter to a colleague bothered by client. I could not have cared less.

I banged out a draft of a brief due in two weeks’ time because, well, who knows what two weeks from now will look like. Painfully aware that I could not string together a coherent sentence, I filed the brief in the Recycle Bin, closed the office, and decided to take my grandsons for take-out pizza at a restaurant I still call ‘Sabras’:








It looked like it was five minutes after Pesach.

Then I went shopping with my wife, where it looked like five minutes before Pesach:

We are living through an unprecedented experience. Of course, I said the same thing in September 2001 and again in October 2012. Still, this feels different. At least to me.

By: Rabbi Jeff Miller

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782