Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Rav Yoni Lavi suggests that we can learn at least three things from the coronavirus, which caused panic across the globe:

  • Keep things in perspective. In the 14th century, the Black Plague wiped out one-third of the population of Europe. Other plagues in the past also killed millions. Medicine since then, baruch Hashem, has advanced. Scientists can now search for a cure and meanwhile are able to treat and prevent the spread of dangerous viruses.

The world has advanced and we need to appreciate the privilege of living in this era. Humanity today has received an abundance of life and health as an incredible gift. But does it properly take advantage of this blessing?

  • China is the most populous country on earth, but extremely weak from a moral perspective. The powerful and violent communist regime tortures millions. At the same time, it continues to conquer a world that is almost entirely “made in China.”
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The first doctor who warned about the virus was investigated by the police and censured for “disturbing the public order” before he became a virus victim himself. China, the mighty, the omnipotent, the juggernaut, has just received a quick course in humility from a microscopic organism.

  • Yes, this is a dangerous and frightening virus. But along with it, 14,000 people die every day from damage caused by smoking, 7,000 from the damage of alcohol, and 3,000 from malaria. Did you hear anything about these statistics in the latest news broadcast?

What are governments doing about them? Where is the hysteria? It turns out that we just got used to these ongoing tragedies. How many lives could we improve and save if we invested in these other areas one-tenth of the resources that are presently being invested in the coronavirus?

Shabbat shalom, and may all who need it have a complete recovery.

(translation by Yehoshua Siskin)

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Sivan Rahav-Meir, a ba’alas teshuvah, is one of the most popular media personalities in Israel. She is a Channel 2 News anchor, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal. Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.