Dear Readers,

Several weeks ago, Caelie Wilkes, a stay-at-home mom, posted an interesting story on her Facebook page that not only went viral, but was picked up by news outlets across the world.

In Caelie’s own words:

I’ve had this beautiful succulent for about 2 years now, I was so proud of this plant. It was full, beautiful coloring … I had it up in my kitchen window. I had a watering plan for it; if someone else tried to water my succulent, I would get so defensive because I just wanted to keep good care of it. I absolutely loved my succulent. Today I decided it was time to transplant, so I found the cutest vase that suited it perfectly. I go to pull it from the original plastic container it was purchased with to learn this plant was FAKE. I put so much love into this plant! I washed its leaves. Tried my hardest to keep it looking its best and it’s completely plastic! How did I not know this? I pull it from the container, it’s sitting on Styrofoam with sand glued on top! I feel like these last two years have been a lie.

Imagine realizing that something you had loved and nurtured for years was just a fake piece of plastic, simulating the true reality. How would you feel about discovering that some goal or lifestyle or relationship that you had pursued for years was, in fact, not authentic?

Seems far-fetched? In fact, it is our daily existence here in exile.

Our sages compare exile to a dream; it feels so real when we are experiencing it, but the moment we wake up, we realize that it was a facade, covering up the true reality.

Yet since we have been born into our exiled circumstance, our material things, our distress and anxiety, our constraints and feelings of lowliness, these all feel so genuine. Too often, we spend our lives in pursuit of things we believe will make us happy and fulfilled, only to discover how fleeting and fake they really are. We nurture our “plastic” world and our fake image, and we can’t fathom a more authentic experience—an experience where we realize our Divine source and powers.

On the Seder night on Pesach, we get a taste of that reality. Pesach is the festival that celebrates freedom, when we commemorate our seemingly impossible redemption from Egypt. To the Jewish slaves, our situation felt hopeless, but G‑d quickly revealed that the mighty Egyptian King Pharaoh and his army were merely a front that could easily be surmounted with G‑d’s help.

Our world now has been steeped into a very difficult situation. The Corona virus has turned our lives upside down and is creating havoc in our world. Far worse, it is claiming precious lives. May G‑d help us to experience true liberation and finally be released from this bitter exile.

The first days of Passover celebrate that redemption from our first exile; the last day of Pesach, we have Moshiach’s seudah, which celebrates the future redemption from our final exile, when we will see the fakeness of our current situation and finally be submerged in a true reality, recognizing our Divine origin and our true mission in this world.

May it happen now!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW