The Daily Portion
Don't let COVID-19 wear you out

If you need help, don't be ashamed to ask for help - and meanwhile, find joy in a corona shidduch story!

Sivan Rahav-Meir ,

Sivan Rahav-Meir
Sivan Rahav-Meir
Eyal ben Ayish


This is one of our generation's problems, especially in the time of corona. Presently, most parents in Israel are chefs in a home catering service, Zoom technicians, maintenance crew managers, and school administrators, while still attempting to work at their own jobs.

In this week's Torah portion, Jethro notices overload in the case of Moshe Rabbeinu. "All the people stood before Moshe from the morning until the evening," we read and then Jethro sharply asks Moshe: "What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you sit by yourself, while all the people stand before you from morning till evening? . . . The thing you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people who are with you for the matter is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone."

These are profound. words: if this will continue, not only will Moshe Rabbeinu wear himself out, but the people, too. Jethro introduces delegation of authority for the first time. He suggests that Moshe choose "leaders over thousands, leaders over hundreds, leaders over fifties and leaders over tens." Each leader will take responsibility for a portion of the people, and only the most important matters will reach Moshe Rabbeinu. In this way, the entire nation will feel more involved and connected, and additional individuals will receive leadership roles. Moshe does this, and everything peacefully falls into place.

It's impossible to do everything alone. Even Moshe Rabbeinu can't. It's not shameful to ask for help under the present circumstances, and to delegate authority to children, friends, and outside elements. It is essential to postpone non-urgent matters for now and to notice what saps our strength -- lest we wear ourselves out, heaven forbid.

And to cheer you up...

Unexpected joy

Shidduch at the corona hotel*

"Shalom, this is about me, Shani Yakobson, 29 years old, and Amir Tzion, who is 34. On Erev Rosh HaShanah, I tested positive for the coronavirus and was placed in isolation at the corona hotel, the Carlton in Nahariya. At the same time, Amir, who works as a hospital nurse, tested positive for the virus and arrived at the same hotel.

Both of us entered the new year with an ominous feeling. We went to the hotel in order not to infect our families during the holiday, and we were both in despair over our illness, our isolation, and our lack of certainty.

On the first day of Tishrei, the Day of Judgement which starts the new year, we prayed in an improvised synagogue that the gates of good news would open. While the shofar was blown, both of us prayed that we would merit to build a family home. We were both single but no longer young, and had gone on numerous dates, but we could not imagine that in the dining room of the corona hotel -- salvation would come.

In retrospect, everything seems so strange. Are we supposed to say thank you to those who infected us? To thank the Home Front Command for the shidduch? To thank stubborn guests at the hotel who took initiative to leave us alone in the dining room, in order that we would talk and get to know each other?

We have heard many times our sages' words, that 'finding a spouse is as difficult as splitting the Red Sea.' Recently, on Shabbat, we read in the Torah about the splitting of the Red Sea. The two of us felt this miracle within ourselves. We are engaged.

We know the situation remains difficult outside, beyond our bubble, harsh and painful and frustrating. Therefore, we want to publicize and shout our story to the entire world to give hope to others during this awful time. We discovered in the most personal way that even within great darkness great light can suddenly burst forth."

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin