Rabbi Uriel Vigler, shliach in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, penned a letter to Satan on his efforts to ruin our lives and how we persevere.
You’ve tried hard to make our lives miserable.
First, you forced us to stop greeting each other with handshakes, hugs, kisses and even fist bumps, and you know how much we absolutely love greeting one another.
Then you forced us to cancel (or minimize) our Purim celebrations, knowing full well how much joy and exuberance Purim brings us.
You’ve forced us to cancel our Pesach plans, (which we’ve already put so much money into,) a time when we usually gather with our extended families and friends for an infusion of joy that lasts well into the rest of the year.
You forced us to cancel all travel and most day-to-day outings and isolate ourselves at home.
You even precluded us from attending weddings, engagements, bar and bas mitzvahs and other celebrations, and you know how much we love to celebrate and say l’chaim!
But this week, you took it too far. You forced us to close our shuls—G-d’s home! This is the center of our Judaism and the place we communicate with G-d. It’s where we set ourselves aside and focus solely on Him. I cannot remember a single Shabbat in my life that I intentionally stayed home from shul. Having to send out the message to my congregation that there will be no shul, cholent, or Kiddush for the foreseeable future broke my heart.
But let me tell you, Satan, you failed miserably at your mission.
Instead of separating us, your social distancing has brought us so much closer together. In our isolation, we have increased our concern for one another. Through social media, our Torah classes are reaching larger and more attuned audiences than ever.
Our hearts are filled with love for one another; our spirit can never be broken. Our souls are fired up.
So now, it’s time to acknowledge that you have failed miserably. We will appeal to your boss, our dear Father in Heaven, to fire you. You’ve tried hard, I’ll give you that, but success is out of reach. It’s time to call it quits, end this plague and tell your boss to send Moshiach, as we have certainly earned.
This week, when we read the parshah at home alone, without our Torah scrolls, we will read about the mitzvah to build the Mishkan, a sanctuary for G-d. We may not be in our shuls, our sanctuaries, but we have built sanctuaries in our hearts with alight that can never be extinguished.
You lose, Satan, you lose. We are the eternal winners.
Rabbi Uriel Vigler