Beloved Friends,

We will gather tonight, each in our own way, to celebrate Passover. In the Passover Haggadah we read that in each and every generation we are to see ourselves as if we were personally delivered from Egypt. As I am “Sheltering in Place,” I imagine the incredible strength it must have taken for our ancestors not only to endure 420 years of slavery, but to take the first steps toward freedom. They were strong and resilient, endowed with the gifts that allowed them to successfully make the journey. Tonight, as you place yourselves in that moment, I invite you to ask yourselves these four questions:

#1: What is a ‘superpower’ that I bring to this particular historical moment? Maybe it’s a sense of humor, or generosity, or ability to be kind to others, or a talent for cooking or writing poems or distracting people in your family in fun ways. Celebrate your superpower!

#2: How am I strong in ways that I might not even realize? If you’re in conversation with family and friends at your Seder, ask others to tell you the strengths they see in you. Kids can tell adults, and adults can tell kids!

#3: What gift of resilience has been bequeathed to me? Share a story about someone no longer here—a relative, a dear friend–who in some way exhibited resilience in their life. Maybe it was someone you’ve only heard about in stories but feel a connection to. Lift up that quality and set an intention to carry it on.

#4: And finally – ask yourself, how can I be kind to myself in this difficult time? Even if you can’t figure out the answer, ask the question, and let it sit in your heart. Compassion for self and others is the number one medicine for spiritual resilience.

May we be attentive and open to the unique spiritual gifts afforded by the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves. May we come to realize what is truly vital in our lives—and what we can live without. May we sing the Song of Redemption each and every day of our confinement, so that on the day that the coronavirus is finally behind us once and for all—and that day will come—we will not return to business as usual, but we will emerge stronger, wiser, and transformed.

Cathy, Jacob, Eli, Anna and Hope join me in wishing you and your dear families, Chag Sameach!