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04/07/2020 12:36:33 AM


Jordan Hiller

So Many Questions

Tomorrow night we know which questions to expect. The big four. Mah Nishtana Ha’layla Ha'zeh. Insert joke.

But, going into Pesach, we have the big five. The usual big five queries as we try to navigate and analyze this new abnormal.

Who? What? When? Where? and Why? Let’s take a shot at them.

Who? As our social interactions are very limited – Who is whoever is in our homes. We have no other options right now.

What? That’s easy. There is only one What that seems to matter nowadays. Forget everything else you had planned. It’s Coronavirus’s world – we’re just living it. 

When? When, we will get back to.

Where? Also easy. Home!

Why? Why – as always - is the most complex and diabolical question to answer. Depends on your philosophy. Theist, Darwinist, Humanist, Existentialist. I believe in God and hashgacha so I think Why is never for us to understand in the present but it does often resolve itself over time. That has been our best bet throughout history (and particularly Jewish history) so…. we have to wait for the Why.

When is the most interesting question of our five. We are completely preoccupied with the When as we stare at our calendars and wonder what to cross off. How long will this last? How many months until a cure? A vaccine? Until the peak? Until social distancing is eased?

Those are the When questions which treat time as concrete. But as we know and well appreciate, Judaism often looks at time in the abstract. Time is not just something that gets us from Point A to Point B in the linear sphere, but it is something we can control and manipulate. On the regular, we sanctify time. 

We take a certain When and remove it from the mundane timeline and connect it to the Eternal and Infinite. As we shall be doing over the next three days. 

While the entire rest of the world will remain consumed by the What of Covid-19, we will – as we would have done regardless of this despicable circumstance – bend time to our will. We will suspend the What by exercising dominion over the When. Sure, the Who and the Where will remind us that the What is out there, and we may even bother to wonder Why, but it will still be Pesach. And Hashem has given us a great gift. Ki Va Moed

By: Jordan Hiller

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782