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Parshot/Festivals

Who is the ultimate winner of coronavirus?

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Rabbi ILan Herrmann, Soul Workout Shul and Community Centre, Glenhazel

The third is hopefully you and me, and anyone who applies their intelligence to what’s happening.

It’s well known that the Jewish response to difficulty is to introspect and re-evaluate. This opportunity has thrust itself upon us. There are limited distractions now. That’s the coronav spiritual mindful lesson #1 – to recognise that it’s a time for thoughtful consideration about life.

As Rabbi Manis Friedman explained, through coronav, we have been forced to change our habits – which have been to work and play, work and play. Is that my life? Is that playing out my purpose? These are healthy questions which can lead to a much greater depth and maturity. So, a corollary to coronav lesson #1 is to pursue “the questions”.

Coronav is transmitted through interaction with a carrier. Spiritually there is a lesson here. The Torah teaches that we are social beings, and people influence one other in different ways. While it’s difficult to close a door, it might be necessary to do so to avoid being negatively affected by a friend or colleague who is a bad influence. Turning inward, we can ask ourselves if we are being a carrier of bad influence, and can curb and change that, becoming carriers of good vibes and positive energy. This is coronav spiritual mindful lesson #2.

Did anyone laugh when they saw someone wearing a mask. If they did initially, they soon stopped and maybe even joined the wearers when they realised that the mask has great value, protecting the wearer from potential hazardous particles and transmissions. From the mask wearer’s point of view, it doesn’t matter whether Joe Shmo is laughing at him for wearing the mask as he realises its importance. Coronav spiritual mindful lesson #3: as Jews, we are given the pride of wearing a yami (yarmulke) and tzitzit (tassels), tefillin (phylacteries), and talit (prayer shawl). To wear it is to induce spiritual connective energy with Hashem and with our soul, which is healthy. Who cares what the world thinks and if it laughs? In fact, when we do wear them, people eventually respect and admire us. So wear “Hashem-wear” with pride and certainty.

Lastly, who are the heroes of coronav? The moms and dads handling the kids at home, and of course, the kids behaving well in spite of being restricted to the home. Well done! The other heroes are the medics who have been responding, going into the line of fire, bringing health and healing to those affected.

When this is over, the biggest lesson – coronav spiritual mindful lesson #4 – particularly as Jews who have been given the light of Torah, is to bring light into darkness, and health and healing to a fractured world through Torah mitzvot and acts of kindness.

So who is winner number three of coronav? Hopefully all of us.

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