As I write this, it’s Rosh Chodesh Nisan. I feel as if it’s been a lifetime since Purim which is the last time our lives were even close to normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives and left us in a real life version of the twilight zone. Meanwhile, we still have to get ready for Pesach, but we have to do it by ourselves. And we have to prepare ourselves for much smaller Sedarim so unlike our usual Sedarim that include extended family.
I’m finding ways to cope.
I’m still keeping up my everyday hygiene and putting on real clothes. I don’t put on makeup every day, but I do put it on sometimes. I make time for showering and hair care. Since I’m low risk, I do go out for the necessary errands but I take advantage of the extra exercise. Every now and then, I dance to some peppy music, preferably with lyrics that remind me that Hashem is in charge and that He will get us out of this.
Speaking of Hashem getting us out of this, there are a couple of teachings involving Yetziat Mitzrayim that I love.
One is about the women in general. The men in Mitzrayim had lost faith so they separated from their wives so as not to father another generation of slaves. We women didn’t lose faith, but instead of convincing the men with logic, we made copper mirrors and we used them to put on nice clothes and make ourselves look beautiful. The men couldn’t resist so they went back to their wives and thus was conceived the generation that left Mitzrayim.
Another teaching is about Miriam bat Amram. He had separated from his wife because he didn’t want to father a son who would be murdered. Miriam spoke up and put him in his place. She told him that he was worse than Pharaoh because he was preventing girls from coming into the world. Amram could’ve argued that there was no point to that, but he knew that Miriam was right, so he went back to his wife. Thus was conceived Moshe Rabbeinu who led us out of Mitzrayim.
I write a lot about the importance of women not hiding and I find it very ironic that I now have to hide my face when I go outdoors (I’m healthy but my doctor suggested wearing a mask as an extra precaution). At least I know that the men have to do this too.
With all the craziness of COVID-19, I was wondering when someone would come up with the idea that women are at fault by not being careful enough with tzniut. I didn’t have too long to wait- my friend posted something she had seen recently in Eretz Yisrael. My husband was also disgusted with it and asked “Is there suddenly nevuah?!”
But I decided that I would go with it. Of course we women need to be extra careful with tzniut. But it’s going to be TRUE tzniut. After all, it was women coming forward and making themselves seen and heard that got us out of Mitzrayim. Hiding is NOT tzniut. There’s even math to prove that.
If I need to wear a mask outside as a precaution, then I’ll wear one. But I’m going to make sure my face is out there even if just on social media. I’m not going to stop speaking or writing. I will not disappear. And I invite all women to join me (while taking all necessary precautions, of course). Who knows? We women might bring about the Geulah this time just as we did in Mitzrayim.
May Hashem grant a Refuah Shleimah to the sick, continued good health to the rest, Parnassah to all, and may He bring us all Home very soon.