This is not a direct parallel, but I remember, back on Sept. 11, 2001, I was a newspaper reporter driving in to work in the morning. I was the only reporter with a cell phone, and my editor called. He told me to head to Mitchell International Airport, where I found hundreds standing around a TV there that used to be in the center of the main area. They were all silently watching events unfold. They were so riveted, when I approached people to request an interview, they kept declining. This was an immediate change in human behavior. People usually say yes to interviews.
This coronavirus moment, too, is a circumstance that is changing our behavior, but what doesn’t change is who we are. We are the Jewish people, and that means something.
Pesach is a reminder that the Jewish people have endured trying circumstances countless times before. Today, the whole world is under pressure and we’re part of that world. That’s our current reality.
It’s also a reality that the Jewish people are a family, a little group of fewer than 15 million worldwide and not more than 30,000 locally. Michpacha looks out for mishpacha, and we hope to do the right thing for our family in our little corner of things, as best we can.
So here’s our plan: We’re on it. In this edition of the Chronicle and online, we’ve worked to connect you with Jewish-related resources and information on the coronavirus. We’re reporting on the complexities of our societal reaction to the problem. We’re connecting you with educational leaders, synagogues and more, and we’ll continue to do so. Check our website and social media for updates. Meanwhile, if you’re aware of more information for the Jewish community, please let us know.
In our Passover section this month, we’ve got great content on items as disparate as horseradish and Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority sisters making cookies in Madison. So when you’ve had your fill of coronavirus coverage and could use a break, we’ve got that, too.
Yours, with washed hands,
Rob Golub, Editor