Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The entire world is going through these hard times called “the corona epidemic.”

Many are the emotions that one might feel throughout. There is a first reaction to any event. After the initial shock, discomfort or panic has faded somewhat, we start to think a bit more rationally and try to find some kind of solution or way of coping with whatever it is that hit our door step. I can’t say that anyone expects hardships or catastrophes to land right by them, and I’m sure no one intentionally invites trouble to be a guest in their home. So as far as planning or rehearsing a good reaction or a good plan of action, I really don’t think that anyone is generally ready for disruption of their daily lives. And yet there is a great expression that says; “People make plans and G-d laughs.” Not that I’m implying that Hashem is laughing right now at our difficult situation. However I’m trying to make a point that we generally tend to think that we are in charge of almost everything, especially if we have power or money or some kind of control over someone weaker than ourselves.

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This terrible plague that has descended upon mankind at large, is creating many changes. Bad ones which are easy to see, and other changes that I might say, are good.

The world today is so fast-moving that no one has any time anymore for almost anything but work and money and more money. Family time has become less, unless it’s some grandiose trip around the world someplace with great adventures and lots of cash to spend. Fancy cars and homes, clothes and restaurants and the list is long and expensive. Where has the real family time gone? Do we know how to spend quality time together with one another, if we are not doing something extra fun? Have we lost sight of the big picture? Do we write love letters today or just send an emoji love sign on a WhatsApp message. What are our values? Have we forgotten them in the mad rush of technology? Suddenly life seems so frail and temporary. Suddenly we realize that we never really spend much time with the people we really love. I pray, like everyone else in the world, that this terrible time passes quickly with as little casualties as possible.

I am trying during these difficult times to see what the Master of the world is trying to tell each of us, privately as individuals, and publicly as a nation. Nothing happens without a reason. Not always do we know why things happen, but it’s definitely the right time to introspect at the things that are happening around us.

While we are going through some hard times it seems like a lifetime. Once the trauma or bad experience passes it doesn’t seem like it was so long. If we look back at the story of Purim it is different from all the other miracles that occurred to the Jewish people. Purim was all hidden, in a manner of speaking. Everything seemed to happen in the natural course of events. And another point which is not seen on the surface, is the amount of time the whole story of Esther and Mordechai took place. It was over the course of nine years.

I mention this in order to remind us all that this too shall pass. But more so, for us to realize and see that this corona too has a purpose. G-d is isolating the entire world and calling each one to look within. To stop running without looking back as if we were being chased. To look at all the wonderful blessings he gives us daily and not to think that we earned them, even if we are successful or famous.

After all, we are all waiting for the full redemption for so many years. We pray for it daily, we mention it on holidays. But how greatly do we really miss the third temple? How much do we really feel that it is missing? We have nice homes, nice cars, anything we want we can buy, even if it’s second hand. Today in the world we can do almost anything we want. Spirituality is also just another category in our daily schedule. Towards what are we running? What are we living for? Do we really believe that the full redemption will come and we will all run after Hashem and his Torah? Or are we comfortable just the way we are right now?

The full redemption will come and hopefully, very soon. Hashem had to stop everyone in the world and make them think, isolate them and connect them to the right thoughts and aspirations. To have each and every one of us recalculate our destination over again, to see if we were even going in the right direction.

I hope and pray that by next week I will be able to write about the end of the corona epidemic and rejoice in the full redemption of the Nation of Israel and of the world, as well. In the month of Nissan we were redeemed in the past and in the month of Nissan we are going to be redeemed once again. Amen.

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