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03/27/2020 12:01:13 PM


Ayala Ovits Cohen

I don’t usually remember my dreams, but last night I had two that I can actually remember quite vividly.

In the first dream, I was peeking over a wall into somebody’s living space, and was curious to observe how others are handling themselves during this challenging time. I had the feeling of doing something illicit, by spying on someone’s private space without their knowledge, though it wasn't as if I knew who I was spying on. Then it slowly dawned on me that I was actually spying on my own home and my own family.

In the second dream, I was riding the Long Island Rail Road. It was the same line of the LIRR that I’ve ridden for 20 years, but I was confused about which station I usually disembark, and I was deeply worried that I would miss my stop. I was so anxious and stressed that I decided to lie down across a three-seat-bench and rest my head for a few minutes. And then I fell asleep. When I woke up some time later, I was still on the train but disoriented and didn’t know where I was.

That’s when I woke up for real.

I’m no expert on dream interpretation, but here’s my analysis:

Before I went to bed, I was listening to Rabbi Dr. Elie Feder talk about doing teshuva during a time of distress. He said the current situation should be a wake-up call to examine our actions and find areas where we might need to improve. In particular, we might want to focus on areas which the current situation seems to bring into a harsh light. For example, in the area of our arrogance, where we tend to think that our prosperity and our technology transform us into masters of the universe and put us in control. When the reality is that we are all flesh and blood, vulnerable to this virus. 

Another area might be in the area of relating to family; being forced into isolation with family can quickly bring to light the areas in family relationships that need improvement.

I saw my first dream as a message to take a closer look at how I relate to my family. That maybe I have not been recognizing the primacy and importance of my family, and valuing them above other areas of my life, most notably above the time that I spend keeping tabs on other people’s lives via social media.

My second dream seems to be about the future--that it pointed to a time (hopefully soon) when I can get back to my regular routine. But this dream seems to be saying that I’ve been arrogant in thinking that I have my routine completely under my control. Maybe I’ve had the attitude that I am the master of riding the LIRR, so to speak. That when I do go back to my usual routine of riding the LIRR, I should not be so arrogant and think that I am in control of the world around me.

By: Ayala Ovits Cohen

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782