“The only thing certain is that the future is uncertain.”
(R.Y. Eisenman, March 1, 2021)
Here is a paragraph from the NY Times on March 2, 2020:
At a meeting with drug company chief executives at the White House, Mr. Trump said his administration would work to reduce regulatory obstacles for the creation of treatments but was cautioned that even on a fast track, it could take a year to 18 months to come up with a vaccine for wide distribution.
Last year at this time, few, if any, thought there would be a vaccine accessible to the public in March of 2021. Alas, Baruch Hashem, it has happened. Baruch Hashem, most of us are on track this Pesach to return to Sedarim with our extended families. True, many of us were sickened by the virus, and too many died. Yet, we persevered and survived.
A recent article stated, “Almost exactly a year ago, on March 7, 2020, officials in the Elk Grove Unified School District — Northern California’s largest — announced that schools would close for a week in response to concerns that the novel, unknown coronavirus…” To this day, public schools have yet to reopen in California. Supposedly a deal was just reached to open the schools in California on a very limited basis. However, as an editorial notes, “In ways, this is a true April Fool’s deal for the public… By the time the kids get their seat assignments, the school year will be effectively over.”
Compare this to our yeshivos. I know of no Jewish schools (even non-Orthodox) that did not open in the fall of 2020. Yes, there were bumps in the road; yes, there was plenty of quarantine. However, school continued. Besides the fact that our children are learning Torah and are in school with friends, they are not health-wise worse off. California public schools being closed did not cause them to survive the pandemic better than us.
I, for one, am very appreciative of the moros and rebbeim and the entire staff of our schools who returned to their positions because they knew that our children come first, and without children learning the Torah, what good is the world? The teachers proved that our children and their education in a safe environment is our top priority. The closing of the public schools in this country indicates the opposite.
It also makes me pause to reconsider the country that we are living in. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l termed America the Malchus of Chesed. And of course, there are wonderful opportunities for us here. However, I am disappointed and disillusioned by the teachers (and their union) who are the major opponents of reopening. If the teachers of these children seek any and every excuse in the book NOT to return to work (while being paid full salary) – what can we say about the level of care and concern they show their students when they are in the classroom???
We have much to be proud of. Our children have been learning, and Torah learning was not silenced. This is not the case in our host country. Does it bode well for this country and its students when teachers show that their lowest priority is getting back to the classroom? If Moshiach doesn’t come soon, perhaps the airport in Eretz Yisroel will open sooner than later.