Putting our seniors at risk
As I read “S.F. Campus for Jewish Living ready to accept Covid-19 patients, per state order” (April 7), I could not help wondering if anyone asked the residents of the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living whether they were willing to risk their very lives for what might turn out to be a “death sentence.” It is certainly not an element of Jewish values to risk the lives of others, especially those in our care, without their knowledge or consent.
Most of the residents of the CJL are unable to live independently, so unless they have a willing relative, they cannot even leave the facility for their own safety.
To the state and to the administrators of the Home, how dare you?
Dorothea Z. Lack
Most relevant Passover ever?
Last week, as Jews raised their glasses to freedom at seder tables around the world, we made history. On all other seder nights, Passover celebrations have taken place around real tables; this year, we shared virtual tables! On all other seder nights, we have a seder plate, matzah cover, cup for Elijah. On this night, thousands of tables included a new “ritual” object: a screen.
Sheltering in place did not stop us from Zooming across time zones and international borders to read stories of liberation and sing songs of freedom with family and friends whom we would not otherwise have celebrated with!
Through questions, songs and cryptic rabbinic teachings, the Passover seder is supposed to evoke in us the experience of liberation, as if we, ourselves had been enslaved. Somehow through the ritual telling and eating matzah balls, we become free. This year, many of us questioned why we focus on the story of the Exodus when our current situation feels like enslavement right now. Some wondered if being quarantined made it harder to celebrate Passover, or if in fact the lockdown and fear have made this holiday more meaningful than ever.
The haggadah teaches us that “in each generation, each of us should feel as if we, too, were freed from Egypt.” Has the world response to the Covid-19 pandemic enabled us to more viscerally experience a struggle for freedom? Is this the most relevant Passover any of us have ever had?
While the Zoom rooms were expedient in diminishing our isolation, I predict that in years to come, this new mode, this new way to connect, this “Zoom where it happened” will become a welcome new tradition for many families across the world.
May we raise our glasses to freedom, to health, to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic and to the birth of new traditions, new ways of connecting and a vibrant Jewish world that will be sustained and will sustain us as we adapt to our new way of being.
BDS hypocrisy exposed
I’ve never respected people who hate without conviction. This week, the hypocrisy of those who deny Israel’s right to exist was exposed in the harsh light of reality.
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, said that it would be acceptable for its members to accept an Israeli cure for coronavirus to save their lives. For what? To pursue their genocidal intentions in good health?
The pathetic spectacle of Barghouti articulating his willingness to set aside his hatred of the Jewish state if it means saving his own miserable life is self-explanatory. On the other hand, Israel routinely provides life-saving treatment even to those sworn to destroy it.
Barghouti’s readiness to take and not give is at the core of the Arab world’s refusal to make peace with any Jewish state. Israel’s honorable approach to saving lives stands in stark contrast to the BDS message, whose only claim to being human rests on its cowardice and perfidy.