Day 22. There is an old Yiddish saying “Man plans and G-d laughs”. This so applies to my wife and I as we approach the start of the Passover holiday tomorrow evening.
Just a few weeks ago we were looking forward to hosting our entire immediate family for a celebration of our grandson Hillel’s bar mitzvah day. (He was born thirteen years ago on the first day of Passover). My ninety year old in laws, all of our children and grandchildren, my wife and I – all twenty of us – were going to spend the first days of the holiday at our home in celebration of Hillel’s big day. Hillel and his family live in St Louis and his “real” bar mitzvah celebration, at which he would chant the weekly Torah reading (he has been studying for a year), was to be celebrated a few short weeks after Passover, in early May, in St Louis. But the first days of Passover were to be a special family celebration of this major milestone in our grandson’s life.
The seder was going to be amazing. Four generations sitting at one table, reading and discussing the Hagadah as we fulfilled the commandment of recounting for the children the story of the Exodus and its eternal lessons. With a large group of twenty we were making plans to rent a tent, talking to kosher for Passover caterers, and making arrangements at our synagogue.
And then the corona virus changed everything.
Tomorrow night it will be just the two of us, my wife and I, who will sit down at our seder. My in laws will be alone in their New York condo. Our children, including our daughter who lives just a few blocks away, will each be in their homes celebrating alone.
And Hillel will have to wait until the pandemic is over to celebrate his bar mitzvah.
Man plans and G-d laughs.