I have never seen so much pain, nor had so much gratitude.
I have never experienced so much quiet, yet been so aware of the news.
I have never had so much kindness from neighbors, nor needed it.
Never seen so many losses — nor so many heroes.
I never experienced such unavailability of stuff — nor its irrelevance.
I never had more time to worry, yet found it less productive.
Never been so certain of what is happening around me, yet so uncertain about the future.
I have never been more in denial about death, yet edited so many obituaries.
Never enjoyed Torah study so much, yet paid so many shiva calls.
I have never witnessed such helplessnes in political leaders, yet so acknowledged their importance.
I have never esteemed the medical profession so much, yet seen it so flummoxed.
I have never yearned for a vaccine, yet been so skeptical of what it might accomplish.
I always thought Nazi “ethics” reached rock bottom, yet am now horrified by new ethical dilemmas.
I always wished for Israel to drop out of the headlines, yet am horrified by its replalcement.
I never wanted black humor more than now, yet find it distasteful when I hear it.
I never sought philosophical answers so intensely, yet deem the ones coming my way so superficial.
I never wanted to visit my grandchildren so badly, yet so enjoyed being out of airports.
I never expected to see empty grocery shelves, yet value the reminder not to take anything for granted.
I am more efficient than ever when I work at home, yet miss the bustle of a full staff at the office.
I really want to go back to shul, but may not do so.
I really want society to open up, yet fear it.
I always wanted to be an “essential worker,” yet now that I am, I wish I weren’t.
I always wanted the grass clear of weeds, yet now that I have time to do it, Iwish I didn’t.
I don’t like running around for this and that, but I miss it.
I no longer have to go to four graduations, but wish Idid.
I have never driven with less traffic, yet wish it were back.
Never relished solitude, yet now find it calming.
Never needed a haircut more; yet, who’s looking?
Never heard of so much prayer — nor the need for it.
I never secured vintage silver dollars from a bank teller, yet would relish an in-bank exchange in lowly $1 bills.
I never expected to see such a heavy blow fall on Iran, yet also continue to fear it.
I never welcomed the morning newspapers so much, yet liked what I read so little.
I never listened to news on the radio so much, yet find it so predictable.
I never heard so many people say, I’m fine! while they can inflict fatal harm.
I have never used so much soap, yet wonder whether I am clean enough.
I never heard of professional sports playing to empty stadiums, yet still entertaining average salaries in the multi-millions.
I have never seen so much diet-breaking — nor such a good excuse.
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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