When we see a sign on the road or on a building, we look at it and read the message written on it. There are also hidden messages that are all around us, whether it’s a smile on someone’s face or a frown, or a look in someone’s eyes that is letting us know how they are feeling right now.
We are surrounded with messages everywhere we turn. From advertisements to announcing a certain event, no matter how we look at it, our eyes and minds are busy constantly receiving messages and signs from every corner of the world.
Who is in charge of this world? Hashem. In every generation, Hashem speaks to us through the means and messages of that time period. Once the Jewish people were on a higher level, and fortunate to be able to have the holy prophets and the holy kings of Israel pass on Hashem’s messages to them.
Today we do not have these holy means to understanding Hashem’s ways. However, Hashem is always with us and talks to us in the language of each generation; whatever is fitting for those times. Today technology is a very strong method of relaying messages. However, today with this new challenge “Covid-19”, that is beginning to not be so new anymore, we are discovering that with all our great technological era, we are connecting during this time period more and more to the personal and to the physical elements of human nature.
A new term that entered our dictionary is “social distance.” Our hygiene awareness grew by the entire population. And everyone is walking around with masks on their faces. This, to me, is a major sign and a message from the Almighty. Suddenly our great technological era turned very personal and physical.
When we sit by a computer we can see things on the screen and experience what we see virtually. However, what is occurring during this time period is very physical and personal.
People are concerned about washing and cleaning their hands like never before. People always washed their hands in the past, however today the awareness and messages to do so are greater than before. The social distance from the world at large, together with the closeness and togetherness that the immediate families are feeling, is once again a very physical message and sign from Hashem that he wants us to connect to our children and family on a more personal and physical level. Not technological. And last are these masks that we are instructed to wear on our faces that clearly cover our mouths.
Every time I walk on the street or drive in my car, every encounter I have with the world outside my home, all I can see around me in any place I go, is Hashem, who covered our mouths, no matter what our gender, race or color is.
This last sign or message to me is the greatest of them all. G-d is letting the whole world know one of the reasons why this experience has befallen the world. Hashem is letting everyone know that they must guard their tongue. It is obvious that we can all speak with these masks on, however when one looks around them, the message that is seen, is so loud and clear.
Hashem created us with teeth and a mouth to guard our tongue from speaking badly one about another. And since Hashem saw that the two elements that He created us with are not preventing us from guarding our speech, He added a new element that will help us understand and listen to His command.
As Jews, we have signs all the time to remind us of who we are and what we are meant to be doing, personally and collectively. On Rosh Hashanah we start off the year with a table full of signs, and throughout all the Jewish holidays each one is full of the signs and messages of that particular time. And now we are facing a hard time period with great signs as to what it is Hashem wants of us, and how He wishes us to behave.
So let us hear this message from the Almighty, and use the wonderful gift of speech that He gave us in the right time and in the right place. And may G-d remove this terrible plague from His People and from the whole world as well, today. Amen.