Sign In Forgot Password

we will persevere, together

02/11/2021 07:04:04 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

There is a wonderful expression in modern Hebrew: Ein Koneh Savlanut B’chanut. It translates into “One cannot purchase patience in a store”, although the Hebrew rhyme in the last syllable of the last two words makes it more lyrical. While translating from one language into English sometimes leaves some of the flavor of the original text behind, I think that we get it. Patience is an interesting human characteristic that cannot necessarily be quantified, other than the description of someone who possesses a great deal of patience, or the opposite. We have sometimes heard a person described as having the patience of a saint. To paraphrase a former Supreme Court Justice, we know it when we see it, and, indeed the converse is true: we know impatience when we see it. A truly meaningful quote, attributed to that great author “anonymous”, reads, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”

Our patience continues to be tried not only over these past eleven months, but additionally over the past 27 months. The members of the Tree of Life have been displaced not once, but twice from our place of worship, study and gathering. All of us are impatient to return to in-person services, especially in the Tree of Life. I will never try to pacify anyone with the simple adage that “good things come to those who wait”, but I can assert that the necessary steps just take time, and all of us await that glorious day when we can return to our home.

The difficulty in finding a place to get a COVID inoculation tries our patience, as we would all agree that the disbursement system lacks organization as well as sufficient supplies at this time to deliver to every citizen. How many people have to take to their computers daily, refreshing the browser an incredible number of times, to find an inoculation site?

How many are tired of staring at the four walls of their homes every day, feeling like a resident of the Pittsburgh Zoo? How many are nervous to go shop for food, enter the pharmacy, or attempt to enter any store? For those who have the necessary technical skills and can order anything from anywhere on-line, perhaps it is less challenging to you. What about those who do not possess these skills, or despite several attempts, are unable to communicate with family and friends?

As our patience ebbs and flows over these next months, we need to call upon the extra patience we have stored away, demonstrating even more kindness and compassion to all. We need to be more thoughtful and considerate of others, for who knows what kind of day the person in line in front of you, or the cashier, might be having?

Yes, our patience continues to be sorely tried, but so is our humanity. The harder it gets, the more compassion, the more patience we must show to all. Remember that you are not alone. I’m here if you need me. “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” We will persevere, together.

Sun, February 28 2021 16 Adar 5781