Do Jews Celebrate Valentine’s Day? (Revisited)

Not one to recycle things other than garbage, I reread this Jewish Sacred Aging post I wrote in 2016 and was struck how relevant it is today considering how much we all have been through the past two COVID years. Hugs, kisses, shaking hands, personal interaction have all been at a minimum with fears of risking our health.

Gone are the days of planning in advance big family gatherings, planned wedding and bar/bat mitzvahs dates and other life-cycle events or spontaneous dinner parties with friends and outings with grandkids. No gathering has been discussed without covid being the elephant in the room. My son has canceled his wedding and two house warming parties twice! Passover and Thanksgiving were done on Zoom or in the park! Who would have ever thought??? I just can’t imagine having had to convince my Bubbe that we had to do Pesach on Zoom!!

Oh, how creative we can be when need be. But still nothing can replace holding one close, touching a baby’s hand or seeing how tall our grandkids have grown! For those of us lucky enough to live in the same city as our grandchildren, we don’t notice those inch by inch growths on a weekly/biweekly basis and Facetime or Zoom just don’t’ measure up to how they are growing. It’s not until we see them in person that we realize how suddenly big they are!

So, as we reflect back on what we have missed and time we have lost during this pandemic, I feel the burst of Valentine advertising making our hearts grow fonder while we yearn for those we love to be closer as we crave for human touch we have had to give up.

Maybe this Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022, is especially a sweet time to really express our love to everyone we’ve missed sharing in-person time with, hugs, kisses and all that direct human interaction brings to the soul. Two of my grandkids went off to college this past Fall (covid robbed us of their last couple of years at home that I could have shared with them) so boxes of homemade brownies, heart-shaped candies and silly cards telling them how much I miss and love them will soon be in the mail. For my kids and other grandchildren who live close by, they will get the same but with an in-person, still masked, delivery!

Not that we need one particular day to express love, affection and touch, but maybe this Valentine’s Day may help us to reconnect in the ways we have been missing the past two years.

Wishes for love, chocolates, flowers and hugs,

Sandy


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