Recently, I was with a dear friend and we were having a discussion– or shall I say a disagreement. This week, New York instituted a mandate that if you aren’t vaccinated, you aren’t welcome in many indoor venues, such as restaurants, gyms, etc. His comment was, “It’s time to leave America, because when they start discriminating based on our choices, they are taking away the basic freedoms that this country was built upon”. I replied that, “No, we don’t have to get vaccinated, yet there are consequences to all decisions, and based on current information, non-vaccinated people who get Covid are at far greater risk. Therefore, all New York is doing is trying to protect, and yes, encourage vaccination”.

The second thing regarding Covid restrictions that triggered me this week was setting up a trip to Israel. My mother lives in Israel, and under the current rules, you cannot enter Israel unless you have a first degree relative, or you, yourself are a citizen, or have established residency, and a few other exceptions that I’m not sure of. Yet, in order for me to go, I had to prove with my birth certificate that I was my mother’s son– and of course, I couldn’t find my birth certificate.

Personally, this sent me into a bit of a tail-spin, thinking about what it was like in Europe before the Holocaust, and the restrictions that suddenly were put in place for my fellow Jews, and how at some point, it was too late to get out.

While I hope and pray and believe this won’t happen here in the United States, what is my responsibility as a Jew to my family, and to myself? Should I make the necessary arrangements and get my paperwork in order to emigrate to Israel– the only Jewish State, or should I trust that as the most free nation in the world, all will be okay here in America?

What do you think? And, what would you do if you were in a similar position?

I try to live by the motto of, ‘hope for the best, yet be prepared for the worst’. I live in the space of hoping for the best, and preparing for all of the blessings that are, and will be coming.

In this vein, I have decided to get all of my paperwork in order so I’m prepared for the worst. At the same time, I’m working to train my mind to hope and believe in the best outcome.

This week, let’s be positive, yet not be foolish. If we have an illness, we can’t expect it to just go away, we must treat it. While it serves us well to always hope for the best, we also must prepare for the worst, so we are ready for all eventualities– bad and good.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love

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