Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
“This is not only a rebuke of others but a closer look at ourselves,” the Admor of Sanz began his publicly broadcast holiday message while in isolation. “We find ourselves in the midst of a continuing plague. For many long months we have paid a heavy price in fatalities, each of which is the loss of an entire world.”
After this opening, the Admor who is himself recovering from the coronavirus, suggested a new line of thought: “We are compelled to be in isolation at this time. We have no opportunity to gather together or to congregate, not in synagogues and not for happy occasions. We need to keep our distances and need to be as cautious as possible. ‘And you should be very careful for your lives’ (Deuteronomy 4:15). But we must also contemplate how we ended up where we are now. Perhaps all of this isolation flows from the fact that there is separateness and controversy among us, a positive attitude is lacking, and peace does not prevail between one person and the next. We think only of ourselves, of our friends and relatives, or of our own community – and ignore the people of Israel. Instead of seeing only good and judging each person favorably, we gossip and slander, and for this we are paying dearly, measure for measure: You want to put others at a distance and live only for yourself? So go into isolation only with yourself.
The holiday of Sukkot is a time of ingathering, of unity, of the sukkah of peace. We need to strengthen ourselves through love for Israel and to increase peace wherever we go and in whatever we do”.