Honorable Mensch-ion

Lighten the Dark

My daughter’s third grade writing assignment this week was to write a paragraph about someone who is not thanked enough.

“Nitza, my aunt, I love her very much. She is a kidney transplant nurse and she saves lives. I think because she does this, we should thank her more often. Here are a few reasons why. 1. She saves people’s lives. 2. She brings joy to her patients and helps them get through their hard times. I think we should appreciate Nitza more often!”

This week, we read about the plague of darkness. God tells Moses to hold out his arm toward the sky, which will bring a darkness that can be touched. Rashi teaches there was darkness of gloom when no person saw another during those three days, and there was moreover another period of three days’ darkness twice as thick as this was when no person rose from their place; one who happened to be sitting when this second period of darkness began was unable to rise, and one who was then standing was unable to sit down.

These days of the pandemic are dark. We literally do not see each other. For almost a year we have not risen from our place. Every day is the same day.

And yet, with a third grade answer, we learn a deep lesson: Say thank you more to those who we don’t thank enough. Yes, there will be darkness, but we can play an active role in sparking the light we must see for a brighter tomorrow.

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