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05/01/2020 03:02:12 PM


Fred Wilkowski

Let me start off by saying (writing): I am not a writer.  I have no issues with public speaking, and actually enjoy doing so, but for some strange reason, writing is just not my bag.  I would much rather Zoom my Vacczine article than actually put it in writing. Why? Because I’m unusual.

So I'm sure people have been wondering, "What has Fred been doing during this pandemic?"

I'm sure you have all heard the saying which goes along the lines of: If you sit down with a group of people and all of you put your problems out in the open on a table, you will gladly take yours back.

As some of you may know, Amy & I lost our jobs in February.  The company we worked for filed for Chapter 7. Closed the doors with its assets planned on being liquidated. When? Only G-d knows.

Then Corona hit. 


i"ll take my problems back, thank you very much.

Baruch Hashem, we are healthy.  A lot of our YINW family and friends haven't been so lucky, and I at times feel guilty about it.  But as difficult as it seems – and it is easy for me to write this having not suffered like others – we have to have Emunah that everything happens for a reason. Even when we are hurting and can't comprehend why.

I am by nature an optimist; always looking for and finding a silver lining in any situation, even when it is only a small strand.  I have faith that when we look back on this difficult time, we will see it did have some positivity.

Having had all our adult children move back home when all this started, we are spending more quality time with each other, which would have been impossible if Covid-19 hadn't occurred.  

We eat dinner together, and everyone pitches in to help.  I watch TV shows together with each child, have movie nights, ice cream parties, and daily workouts with them. We all listen and enjoy the weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Zoom the Rabbi has arranged for everyone.  I even made a Tic Tok dance with Lauren (Editor's note: I left in Fred's misspelling of Tik Tok -because it's cute!). No, I’m not going to give you the link for it.

I have taken it upon myself to do more for the community, volunteering my time and being a conduit for others to do so as well.  I am also using this time for self-improvement, learning more Hebrew, although I can't imagine ever using the words I am learning watching Fauda in a social setting.   I have taken up practicing Yoga, and cherish the quiet time it allows me for reflection and contemplation. I make sure to speak to my parents, siblings, family and friends on a daily basis, checking in and catching up with them, helping whomever I can, whenever I can.  I even decided to try my hand at writing, submitting this article because I know how difficult it is for Jordan to try and get people to write for The Vacczine.  I hope this will motivate others to do the same - yes you can!

I had said during this past Yom Kippur appeal we are fortunate to live in a special community, and living through the Corona pandemic in North Woodmere has only strengthened my belief.  We have gone above and beyond for each other in sad times, as the YINW family have lost loved ones.  We have been checking in on our neighbors, going shopping for others, and helping each other out, all more so now than we would have if there was no pandemic.

The timing of this pandemic is not haphazard. I believe it coincides with the same calendar as when we left Mitzrayim, and were heading to Mount Sinai. This is no accident. Just like when we arrived to receive our Torah and we finally became an Am Yisrael, stronger and a united people, I am praying we will emerge from our homes this upcoming Shavuot stronger for what we are going through and even more united as a community.

I encourage every reading this to step out of their comfort zone and write for The Vacczine, If I can do it everyone can!

By: Fred Wilkowski

Sun, June 23 2024 17 Sivan 5784