A few days ago, I was on my routine evening walk. I could do it with my eyes closed. On my left was my residential neighborhood, dotted with apartments filled with yellow light. On the right, a valley of newly constructed villas and peeping above it, the lovely forest with its meandering paths and kelly-green trees. These villas are “American-style,” standing out for their sheer size and scope.

There is a park, albeit unfinished, nextThey looked oblivious to their imperfect surroundings to the new villas, and from it I saw flashing lights. As I approached the area, I saw what looked like a photographer and an assistant with equipment, sporting plastic gloves on their hands. As I squinted my eyes, I could see a couple—she in a wedding dress, he in a tuxedo. Their backs lay against an uncompleted and unvarnished fence.

The photographer moved around, trying to find a backdrop fitting for such an occasion. That was a tall order in this modest park, with its overgrowth of weeds, undeveloped and unadorned. But the couple continued to gaze at each other as the photographer searched. They looked at peace, in love, oblivious to their imperfect surroundings.

About 50 feet away also sat the half-finished street strewn with the beautiful villas. I caught a glimpse of a backyard chuppah. It was very simple, as if it was thrown together with some wood remnants. A small crowd gathered in front of the villa and awaited the couple I’d just seen. A few friends and family of the bride walked towards the dead-end street with homemade floral wedding arches, the kinds used when a bride and group re-enter a wedding hall after spending some moments of solitude together after the ceremony. There were large speakers, a keyboardist and a singer.

As the bride and groom approached, the small wedding party got in gear. The music began to blare, the dancing commenced. It was very modest. It was very simple. It was just as it should be at this moment in time.

We are in a streamline reality now. Everything is being pared down. Essentials, basics, the bare minimum. In front of the fancy villa, a “skeleton” wedding took place—and it was so touching, so regal.

No entertainment, no restaurants, nothingNothing frivolous, nothing extra frivolous, nothing extra.

Children are at home baking peanut-butter cookies and squabbling over who can use the printer next for the colored printouts. Many are “stuck” in their homes, confined to a certain space, making use of limited resources. We travel to the market and back. We travel to the pharmacy and back. We leave point A and get to B, and then return back to A. No intermediary stops.

We are coming face to face with our value system. What is important in life, what sustains us, what do we truly need? A fancy event hall, a five-star dining experience, a full calendar of children’s extracurricular activities?

We are being emboldened to rethink where we put our energies, what we are living for, why do we even get up in the morning?

The coronavirus that has stripped us of so many choices, so many perceived freedoms, is also forcing us to rethink what it is that we really value. Corona cannot take this choice away.

G‑d has His ways.

The bride and groom probably didn’t have their fantasy wedding. They didn’t have many guests. They didn’t have beautiful napkin holders or elegant catering.

But they came face to face with what’s most important in life.