Musings for March 2020


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By Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D. 

With so much activity locally, nationally, globally speeding by us daily, I think it might be an appropriate time to take a few moments to sit back, relax and reflect on that stampede of news, sports, traffic that tramples us daily.

This month of March is a great way to start that dreamy interlude. In the play Oklahoma there is a song about March, which comes in “like a lion — a whippin’ up the water in the bay.” The quiet month of March at its beginning — no longer quiet. Now a wild and ferocious 31-days. What’s happening that causes such a critical transition from benign to nearly violent?

Daylight Savings Time — becomes “curiouser and curiouser” to quote the fabled monkey George. Although our state thankfully does not comport with most of the rest of the USA, this time-travel is silly. When in my lifetime, or yours, has anyone seen farmworkers who are out picking field crops, requesting more daylight? When in a blazing 113-degrees Fahrenheit Arizona summer has anyone requested more sunlight, heat? And what school system has so much in reserve monies that it doesn’t care how much it costs to air-condition their school buildings? Need extra personal outdoors time, switch your start time to whenever its cooler, change your watch, and drink a lot of water. “L’chaim!!”

St. Patrick’s Day — a bigger festival time in the USA than it is in its home country Ireland. Prompted by initiatives to be green — but not in the global warming sense — St. Pat’s Day is a fun day, unless it falls near a weekend during which several days may be set aside to remember the Irish Priest. Clogging, soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and of course beer — or green bagels (my attempt at humoring intergroup relations for more than a decade). “L’chaim!!”

Purim — the Hebrew word translates as ‘lots’ as in lottery. This annual Jewish holiday based on the Book of Esther recounts another occasion where the challenge to an anti-Semitic megalomaniac succeeds. Our heroine, Queen Esther — whose true name is Hadassah — facilitates the downfall of a wicked Persian Minister. His plan to choose the day (by casting lots) for the extermination of the Jewish community backfires. The Queen details to the King the palace intrigue surrounding the plan to misappropriate the royal document seal. A time of revelry in Jewish communities worldwide. “L’chaim!!”

With so many festive times, special events, activities and creative opportunities for revelry and celebration our formerly quiet month of March has become a beast, busy at least in the sense of filling huge amounts of time and space with big stuff. Reflecting on the once quiet month of March now is exhausting with so much zipping by.

I am going to need more time for musing and lying back on a lawn-chair looking up at the clear March sky, while conjuring up and fantasizing about all the animals and their antics up in the clouds.

Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D., is known Valley-wide for his more than three decades of support for civil and human rights, and the positive efforts of law enforcement. A volunteer police chaplain, he regularly lectures on related subjects, while working part-time as Hospital Chaplaincy Coordinator for Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Contact him at

Photo: K. Miller

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