For those of the Jewish faith in Sun City West and around the world, it is the holiday of Passover when the question is asked, “Why is this night different.” But as the Jewish High Holy Days arrive this week, that question can be raised again, given the impact of COVID-19.
Usually during the High Holy Days, synagogues are packed with generations of family members, friends and neighbors all celebrating the Jewish New Year holiday of Rosh Hashannah and then bookending the 10-day period of introspection with a remembrance of loved ones lost with the holy day of Yom Kippur. But these are not usual times because of COVID-19 and synagogues will not be packed with people.
The technology, of course, exists for virtual holiday services, but there is nothing like sharing holy days with people and catching up with one another. It is my hope this Jewish Holy Days period that all of us here in Sun City West keep the faith that there will be a time when we get to the other side of this challenging chapter in all of our lives.
We never forget those we have lost as they always should have a place in our hearts and minds. We have lost members of our cherished community to this virus and many others have been isolated at home trying to avoid coming into contact with COVID-19 as best they can.
I am thinking of my next door neighbor who was not able to visit his wife who was being taken care of in an area nursing home. He used to go every day to see his wife before COVID-19 came into our lives. He told me last week that his wife caught COVID-19 at the nursing facility and she lasted only four days. I spoke with our neighbor and he told me he is trying to make every day count as best he can and trying to find a way forward without his loving partner. I reminded him he is not alone and we will keep a good eye on him along with his family members who live out of town.
Beyond what his family members and I do for our neighbor, we know he is taking this walk of life being watched from high above as well.
I speak to you each week on Sun City West’s very own KSCW Radio Station 103.1 with my Rec Center Show and Community Chat, but allow me to use this commentary to speak from the heart. I wish you all good health and happiness now and always.
Editor’s Note: Gary Cohen is the host of the Rec Center Show on 103.1 KSCW that airs 8 a.m. Tuesdays.