I just recovered from Covid. Ugh. It was every bit as yucky as I imagined it. And I had lots of time to think while bored stiff in quarantine (putting an extrovert in isolation is a recipe for disaster.)
I sat and waited.
Waiting to be cleared. Waited to resume my life as I knew it. Waited and waited…
My Israeli friend Elisheva says “Hamtana zu Matana”, there is a gift in the waiting. In the pause. In the empty space…
When the Jewish people journeyed through the desert and subsequently lived in temple times they also had a sort of “time out”. It came in the form of an skin ailment called Tzaras, known to some as leprosy, but more accurately it was a strange spotting of white patches on the skin, clothing and/ or house known to come about as a “punishment” for gossip. So actually the original quarantine happened back in those times. The original social distancing too as the person with this ailment needed to isolate. Ironically the mouth was the cause of this disease. Masks would have come in handy back then. #WearMasksSaveLives
When this “quarantine” was over there was a purification process. It involved an offering and Mikvah immersion. Then you went back to your life, but you were not the same. You had gone through significant soul searching and a process to recognize the lack of connection that had transpired.
The pause was a gift.
Even the decease of tzaras was thought of as a gift, in a way it helped us recognize where we were going astray, gave us a time out to think, and an appreciation for the coming back to normal. This was certainly an inconvenience, but when utilized properly it was a clear way of seeing G-d’s Hand in our relationships.
As a modern Jewish woman living in the 21st century, I find it amazing to see many parallels in our lives today from temple times thousands of years ago. Details have changed but the basic ideas and potential still is there for the taking.
Find the gift in the pause. Whether it’s your covid quarantine or your marriage or even a quiet walk alone with your thoughts. Stepping away from the noise, can give you clarity and the ability step back in with more power.
The gift is in the waiting and it’s waiting for you.