Mini-Layers Profile: #coronastories #pesach #NaomiRivkahMost

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“I am a 36-year-old widow with 3 children, ages 9 ½ ( twins boy and girl) and  12 ½-year-old son. Usually, I have three jobs and take care of my children and my home. Life before Corona was busy, rushed and just about healing, and making sure my children have a wonderful and joyful childhood. 

Today, I no longer have any jobs and I am no longer busy or rushed. The reason being is that I am home and they are home. We have been given the gift of time together. 

I made a schedule for our home together with my kids – and we basically try to keep to it the best we can. I don’t have any major expectations other than us making great memories during this time and everyone being a team together to help for Pesach prep and learning different parts of the Haggadah for us to share with one another. It’s all about right here and right now, every day. Just getting through each day the best way I can in the best way we all can, while we build each other, learn from each other, and just all do what needs to get done as a team – with a positive attitude.” 

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“When my husband died a little over 2 years ago it was 30 days before Pesach.

I spent that first Pesach in the States by very close family friends. Last year for Pesach I was privileged to be here in Israel by close friends for the Seder and first days of chag. I was then invited to a special Pesach getaway for widows up North. It was truly beautiful. 

This year will be the first time I make Pesach on my own without my husband. I’ve made Pesach many times before in my life and in actuality, Pesach has always been our favorite holiday. When I realized I was doing it on my own, at first I cried. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to run a Seder or know the way to run a Seder. Then I realized what a true blessing this would really be. As a woman, I am excited to perform the mitzvah of והגדת לבנך.  At this moment right now, I am the best teacher for my children. 

I was very fortunate that my husband Eric a’h, has written a Haggadah for our children that I found on his computer after he passed away. A close friend of mine had it published for me. So now I am not totally doing this Seder on my own, I will be doing it with my children’s Aba who will be running the Seder alongside me spiritually as I use his Haggadah as an outline to run our Seder. I have spent time reading my own Haggadahs and other Torah sources to create the exact Seder and messages and values I will have the opportunity to impart to my children on Seder night. 

Not only will I have Eric’s a’h Haggadah as a guide, but I also chose a theme and message I want to imbue my children with this year. In order to make this fun and special, I have chosen to set my table according to our theme and have my kids guess what messages I am trying to impart. I also have made many props for different parts of the Seder because I want this not only to be a great experience, I want it to be one my children will remember for generations to come. “

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“People keep saying “…when things go back to normal,” and that comment frustrates me. What was “normal”? Routine? Money? Jobs? Fancy things? What exactly was “normal”? 

There has been a lot of lost parnasa at this time. We have experienced much illness, death, and tragedy.  Yet, it is possible to also recognize the blessings around us. Many of us have had opportunities to reconnect with long lost friends or family, we have been given the chance to care for our friends and neighbors through chesed and staying home to protect each other. There are those members of our communities who are on the front lines of this epidemic, saving lives and doing essential services. I am so grateful for them.

For those of us sheltering in place, at home, this moment has been one of reprioritization that has made life simpler and maybe even, in some ways, sweeter. There are moments where we have been able to feel how much we love our children (even if that’s harder some days). I would argue that we are learning to appreciate life itself, more. 

Maybe Hashem is teaching us that no other thing in the world is more important than human life. He is also clearly telling us that He is always here and he is in charge of giving life and taking life.  It is us who are responsible for making change within ourselves. 

We can take out the chametz of our pre-Corona our daily routines; the assumption that our lives functioned as it was from our own work and effort. Now we see, in one moment, with something we cannot even see– the world can be turned upside down. 

Now is the time to plead for salvation-  not just from this illness but of all pains we each go through in our own personal lives. We don’t need to go back to “normal,” we need to move forward into a better world- one of redemption and peace. ” 

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In short: I’m a widow with 3 kids living in Jerusalem. I run a kiruv leadership program called Destinaishons for seminary students at Aish and I am real estate agent in Ramot.