today

Day 57 .Today represents two months to the day when Shapiro, Lifschitz and Schram began remote operations. For a law firm that for close to thirty years has proudly maintained ta fairly traditional approach to the practice of law – from a “suit and tie” dress code to a strong preference for non- remote, office based operations, it was quite a change to implement in a matter of days. But we did it! Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our Executive Director and the team effort of every member of our law firm, lawyers, legal assistants, assistants, and staff attorneys we converted to a virtual law firm in a few short days. Our goals were basic but challenging: First and foremost, we were committed to promoting and protecting the health and safety of all our employees. Second, we needed to continue to support our clients seamlessly during this pandemic. And third, we were determined to weather this crisis as we had previous ones (e.g., 9/11, 2008 depression) and remain financially viable.Thanks to the tremendous efforts of everyone at SLS , our clients, and with G-d’s help, we have been able to date to accomplish each of these goals. For this I and my colleagues are extremely grateful and lucky.

Today is also the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer which is observed with great joy and celebration for literally 24 hours on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer. One reason for this holiday celebration is that it marks the day that the plague that killed 24,000 disciples of the great Talmudic sage Rabbi Akiva came to an end.Tradition teaches that the disciples of Rabbi Akiva were all great men, steeped in learning. Why then were they victims of a ravaging plague? Our tradition explains that they were punished because in some small way they lacked appropriate respect for one another.

Far be it from me or anyone else to explain why in 2020 mankind is suffering under the ravages of the Corona virus pandemic. Whatever the reason, we can learn from the Lag Baomer story of Rabbi Akiva’s students and become more respectful, more compassionate, more caring people. We can all find more opportunities to reach out and help another human being.

P.S. A number of years ago I attended the main Lag Baomer celebration in Meron, Israel. Here are a few images from that celebration that lasted, literally, for 24 hours!

© Judah Lifschitz 2020

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