The Redemption of Our Shuls – a Look Back to the Deep into Covid Days

This was originally posted when our Shuls were closed during Covid on April 6, 2020.

On Pesach we focus on two redemptions, the redemption from Egypt and the future redemption. Rav Itamar Schwartz, the author of “Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh”, points out that in the redemption from Egypt, we were emotionally redeemed, in that we were able to connect to Hashem with love and fear. On the seder night, we must feel as if we are leaving Egypt now, and emotionally connect to Hashem in gratitude. However, we weren’t totally redeemed, as four fifths of the people died and the wicked son is told “had he been there, he wouldn’t have been redeemed”.

In the future redemption, it will be a more complete redemption, the wicked will be included. This is because we will have achdus in the mind, which is the ability to see how details, and people, are connected and are all one. We will see how the wicked son belongs with us. Rabbi Schwartz points out that this will be achieved through the nullification of our egos, as a person’s self-absorption prevents the revelation of achdus.

We’re at a unique point this Pesach. We’re in exile from our Shuls and we’re davening alone. Many of us are longing to return to daven as a Tzibbur. It’s a great opportunity to take a step towards redemption, by thinking about how we will try to see things from an Achdus perspective when we return. Instead of is wondering whether the davening is too fast/slow for me, we will wrestle with the question of what’s the right speed for our Shul? What’s the right temperature for the Shul? It’s a harder perspective, but it’s the achdus perspective of the future redemption.

Great challenges. Great opportunities.

Hopefully we’ve made some progress over the past 2 years.