A TORAH CORONA PERSPECTIVE
My dear brothers and sisters, fellow members of Am Yisroel,
Please take it seriously.
Yes, of course, I am referring to the Corona Virus and the importance of following the directives of Gedolei Yisroel and the medical professionals to ensure that you protect your own health, and do not do anything to Chas V'shalom endanger the health of others.
But, more importantly, please take the underlying message of this plague seriously.
Hashem has brought this Corona upon us. It's easier - and more convenient - to point fingers and explain away the origins of a calamity than to grasp and accept that it is the Etzba Elokim, the finger of Hashem that brought this to us.
Hashem is talking to us, His beloved children. Are we listening?
Hashem wants us to look inward and upward. Inward, to see how each of us, as individuals, can put his/her finger on the personal source of this virus. Upward, to recognize that it is all from above, down to the last microbe.
Chazal tell us:
אין פורענות באה לעולם אלא בשביל ישראל
Calamities befall this world only for the benefit of Am Yisroel, to help us reset our lives and help us refocus our attention where it belongs, on Hashem, on His Torah, on His people.
We must continue to strengthen ourselves in Torah learning, add sincerity to our davening boost the amount of Tzedakah we give, add more Chesed to our lives, delete negative speech from our existence and make sincere commitments to keep focused even after Hashem removes this tzarah from our midst. Only by showing Him that we got the message, and are ready to make real change will we merit the reopening of our Shuls, schools and Yeshivos. Only by committing to not go back to "life as usual" after this is over, will we merit a speedy Yeshuah.
One last point:
Many are busy watching the news, checking for updates every few minutes, waiting for the new news cycle for some new development, hoping for some new vaccine or drug or dreading some new government mandated restriction.
"News" in our holy tongue is referred to as חדשות, "Chadashot".
Please remember that news is not something that happens; news is what Hashem allows to happen!
כי הוא לבדו...עושה חדשות
Hashem, and ONLY Hashem decides what happens and doesn't happen in this world, HIS world!
I hear people say things like "The world is out of control" and "We can't control this virus". My dear brothers and sisters, this world and this virus is not out of control; it is merely out of OUR control. This is not something new, this is how it has always been, and will always be. Hashem was, is, and will always be at the helm. The only thing that we control - as humans with Bechira, free will - is our ability to recognize and internalize this truth. The sooner we do, the better off we will all be!
The virus that is here today is not the same virus that will be here tomorrow, as the world is created anew each and every day!
המחדש בטובו בכל יום תמיד מעשה בראשית
If we keep our focus where it is supposed to be, then we will merit that tomorrow's world that Hashem creates is one that is sans Corona.
We must stop putting our trust in mortals who are here today, gone tomorrow,
תצא רוחו ישב לאדמתו ביום ההוא אבדו עשתנתיו
and put our complete and total trust in the only One whose existence is real, eternal and undeniable: Hashem Echad!
Wishing all of us a life filled with Emunah, Bitachon, Simcha, Achdus and a real understanding that while every Shabbos is a reminder that Hashem created the world 5,780 years ago, it is also a good time to remember that Hashem creates the world anew each and every day!
With Torah blessings and love for each and every Jew,
Ben Olam Haba
מְנַע מַגֵּפָה מִנַּחֲלָתֶךָ...
שְׁלַח רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְחוֹלֵי עַמֶּֽך...
אַתָּה הָרְאֵתָ לָדַעַת כִּי ה' הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים אֵין עוֹד מִלְבַדּוֹ
וְהַבּוֹטֵחַ בַּה' חֶסֶד יְסוֹבְבֶנּוּ
לְמַעַן תֵּדַע כִּי אֲנִי ה' בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ
צרה ויגון אמצא ובשם ה' אקרא
Social Distancing, the Torah way:
Distance Yourself From...
Some Thoughts on the so-called "Second Wave" of Corona
B'Chasdei Hashem, even if it is indeed a "second wave" that we are witnessing in some areas, it is less severe than the first and may it be the will of Hashem that Acheinu Bnei Yisroel be protected and remain safe and unharmed.
Why the second wave, though?
What is Hashem telling us?
Rabbeinu Yonah (Shaarei Teshuva, Sha'ar 2:3) writes that when man sins against Hashem and is punished, there are two purpose for this Heavenly punishment.
One, is to effect atonement for the sin, and to erase - via Teshuva - the negative effects of the sin. Just as when one is physically ill, he needs a physical cure, so too when one is spiritually ill, he needs a spiritual cure. This is a tremendous Rachamim of Hashem that some physical punishment in this world can erase sins that would otherwise have required much more painful punishment in gehinom. (See Mesilas Yesharim Perek 4 for more about this)
The second purpose of Heavenly discipline, continues Rabbeinu Yonah, is as a reminder, or a wake-up call of sorts, to prompt us to refrain from sinning, and to prompt us to do Teshuva.
If one does not get the Heavenly message, and refuses to acknowledge the Divine Mussar, not only will he continue to bear the weight of his sins and not have them atoned for, he will be doubly punished for failing to get the message!
The first wave of Corona, which brought with it much pain and tragedy R"L, also brought with it a positive wave of Teshuva. People are davening better, people are learning more Torah, people are yearning for Mashiach, people are downsizing their extravagant lifestyles, people are treating each other better, being more careful with what comes out of their mouths etc. So many Yidden, of all backgrounds, of all ages, of all types, have gotten Hashem's message! They have accepted Hashem's mussar and made positive changes in their lives. Ashreichem!
This second wave of Corona, perhaps, is here to remind us to not forget the Heavenly message that we accepted, to not "go back to normal" when things seem to be stabilizing.
The second wave of Corona, perhaps, is addressing those who are stubbornly refusing to accept the Godly mussar that the first wave brought.
This second wave of Corona, perhaps, is Hashem's way of prodding us to retain our spiritual growth, and not allow our hearts to revert back to stone.
This second wave of Corona, perhaps, is Hashem giving us a second chance to do what's right, or at least solidify the good things we began to do before things started feeling "Normal" again.
Rabbeinu Yonah adds (in Shaar 2:4) that when one does accept Hashem's chastisement, and adjusts his ways properly, he should rejoice in the punishments received, and thank Hashem for them, as their benefits for him are tremendous, no different than any other successes that Hashem affords him!
Perhaps the second wave of Corona is Hashem's way of communicating with us that we should accept His decree as the second, less harsh, reason of Rabbeinu Yonah, and not, Chas V'Shalom, need any more Yesurim attributed to the first, more severe, reason.
Definitely something to think about.
With Torah blessings and love for each and every Jew,
Ben Olam Haba
For a printable PDF of this message CLICK HERE
ה' הוא האלקים...אין עוד מלבדו