This week was graduation for many kids. Despite a year of massive disruption, they still plowed through and did what they needed to do so they could graduate. Many of them were on Zoom school for the full year. Most of them missed their milestone rituals like class trips and senior proms. And yet, there is still plenty of reason for them to celebrate – and for us to celebrate with them.
We celebrate that they overcame something unprecedented. We celebrate that they saw the hurdles in front of them and jumped over them. We celebrate that they didn’t give up in the face of the immense hardship and even though they didn’t know when it would end, they kept on going. We celebrate that they didn’t pause life, but kept on living life.
That was the lesson we all learned during COVID: you can’t pause your life just because you hit a snag; you have to keep going because that IS your life.
When Jews raise a glass and toast, we say, “L’chaim! To life!” Some drink to good health. Some drink to good luck. But Jews drink to life – not a good life or healthy life or even long life – just life itself. Because whatever is thrown at you – that’s life.
So, take the time to celebrate this remarkable life every day. Put on some good music every day. Wear your nice shoes just because. Use the fancy dishes. And just enjoy life. “Carpe Diem,” as the Roman author exclaimed, “Seize the day!” Because all of this IS life. And no one knows that better than our resilient grads this past year.
L’chaim to all of them!