CARY, N.C. -- Many are celebrating both Passover and Easter without any family gatherings. That makes the passing of traditions from one generation to the next more difficult. One Rabbi who contracted COVID-19 says it's much more important to keep the virus from spreading.
Rabbi Yisorel Cotlar knew his fate the moment symptoms started to flare.
"(I) had the fever, had the aches had the chills," Cotlar said.
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As the virus was spreading in March, one of Rabbi Cotlar's sons was visiting grandparents in New Jersey. Rabbi Cotlar was forced to make a trip and retrieve the boy. Four days after returning home he started feeling ill.
"Unfortunately, as you hear from so many people it took eleven days to get those results. By day four or five I had a pretty good feeling it was positive," Rabbi Cotlar said.
Rabbi Cotlar hunkered down with his equally infected wife until symptoms subsided. Thinking he was out of the woods, the Rabbi started to reenter his routine.
"Unfortunately, I did have a relapse about four days later," he described. "As I thought I was all over it the symptoms all came back a little bit worse. My fever was even higher at that point."
Thankfully he's feeling better again, not experiencing any symptoms at the moment. None of his five children contracted the virus which is a blessing. Nobody knows when his synagogue the Chabad Of Cary will reopen. Not ideal for a man who spends most days teaching and counseling in his community.
"None of that is happening right now and it's a very difficult time. I love doing the work that I do and it's challenging being in a situation where we cannot," Rabbi Cotlar said.
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The Rabbi's message during this stay at home Passover celebration is a simple one.
"I know myself will be focused on the blessings that I have. Very thankful to have a Passover with my family," he said. "I think that's the good general message to the family. We can be stuck at home or we can be safe at home."
Virtual celebrations are better than none at all.
Recovering Rabbi's message is clear this Passover: Stay home, don't spread COVID-19