Rabbi’s Pesach Message 2021/5781

Dear Members of the Young Israel Family,

To say that this past year has been strange is an understatement! It has now been over a year since the start of the Pandemic, and we can’t believe it is still in our midst. We are living through unprecedented times that we could have never imagined we would ever live to see. In addition to the tremendous loss of life worldwide, we have faced many other challenges as well. Although it took some time, we have slowly learned and became accustomed to our new way of life. Wearing a mask, washing our hands, keeping our distance, waiting in lines outside stores, and not gathering with friends.

As we know, nothing is a coincidence, and everything has a reason. It is up to us to try and see through the hardships and see what we can learn from our current events.

I think that we did not realize how privileged our lives were before Covid hit. We lived a life of almost instant gratification and one where we can obtain whatever our heart desires. We are starting to learn that not everything is a given and plans that we make today may have to get canceled tomorrow.

This has been an eye opener for many of us. We have learned to value family and friends more then ever. As we all know, distance makes the heart grow fonder. We have acquired a new appreciation for the ability to go to Shul. More than ever, we realize that life must slow down a bit for us to be able to reflect.

This is what Pesach is about!! We put everything aside for a week and spend time reflecting on our past and future. We talk about the past, reading the Haggadah and story of all of the hardships and bitter times our people spent in Egypt. We then move on to the exodus, talking about the change from slavery to freedom. A drastic change, from one extreme to the other. Not only a physical change, but their mindset needed to change. They started to focus on their goal and destination of reaching Mount Sinai and receiving the Torah, and then onto the rest of their journey to Israel.

We read and relive this story in detail because this is our story! Especially today! This might be the first time any of us has felt Golus, exile, on such a personal level. Yet we have to stay focused. We have to stay hopeful. We have to know that this is all part of the plan and a work in progress. Our future is bright. We need to focus on that. One vaccination at a time. We will reach our destination, G-d willing soon, with the coming of Moshiach.

God willing this year may we be free,

Rochel, Eli, Chana Leah, Esther, Messoda and Mendel join me in wishing every single one of you a Happy and Kosher Passover.

Rabbi Avram Banon

P.S.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our president Issie Baum as well as Mike Andradi, president of Shaar Shalom. For all their efforts and much time spent over the last year working

tirelessly to keep the Shul open and safe for all those who wanted to join. As well, a big thank you goes to the Executives of both congregations , and finally every single one of you who are keeping our Shul going by either participating in our in Shul Services or Zoom programs. Our community will prevail!!