Ask the children studying in the local cheder - they know the answer

We are treatng the plague's symptoms but not its underlying cause.We need the language of teshuva and a deeper, spiritual healing. first.

Tzvi Fishman ,

Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi Fishman

A few months ago, I penned an op-ed stating that in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic, acquiring more respirators would not help, closing down the airport wouldn’t help, quarantines wouldn’t help, and the discovery of a vaccination would prove to be huge disappointment, similar to trying to save the life of a man bleeding to death with a band aid.

Why are all of these measures due to fail? Because they treat the symptoms of the plague and not the underlying cause. And, sure enough, to everyone’s great regret, Corona is back with renewed force, and nobody in this great Start-Up county of ours, and none of the leading scientists in the world knows how to get rid of the pest.

No one except the children studying in cheder, called Talmud Torah in Israel.

  • Ask any ten-year old in a Talmud Torah what the source of Corona is, and he will tell you, “Hashem.”
  • Ask him why Hashem has sent this plague upon mankind, and the child will answer, “To make us pay attention to Him.”
  • Ask him what the cure is, and he will immediately give you the correct answer – “Teshuva.”

But when you turn on the evening news, you won’t hear a word about teshuva. You’ll hear about red districts, and quarantines, and a shortage of hospital beds, fights between politicians, arguments between experts in the health field, economic collapse, angry demonstrations… but nothing about teshuva.

Ask any child in a Talmud Torah, and he will tell you that Hashem has sprinkled the Corona virus around the globe to make us pay attention to Him, and to make us realize that He is the All-Powerful King – not man himself. Why do I use the word “sprinkled”? Because Hashem has visited us with the COVID-19 in a gentle fashion. If He wished, He could easily increase the potency of the virus, making it lethal within a meter.

He’s given us a gentle sprinkle to give us a chance to wake up and return. If we don’t, then the epidemic will remain with us, Heaven forbid, and even nationwide quarantines won’t save us. Not even a new Corona commander, or a new Prime Minister will help. And when the world discovers a vaccine, who can stop Hashem from created COVID-20, and COVID-21 if need be until His goal is fulfilled?

The cure for Corona was given to mankind thousands of years ago. As it says in this week's Torah portion of Nitzavim: “For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off….” (Devarim, 30:11). Ramban, Nahmanides, informs us that this refers to the commandment of teshuva.

In last week’s Torah portion of Ki-Tavo, could things have been stated more simply? Ask any child in Talmud Torah. When Am Yisrael performs the will of Hashem we are blessed. When we ignore Hashem, we get ...Corona.

The Prophet Isaiah teaches, “Seek Hashem while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near,” (Isaiah, 55:6.) Our Sages explain that this refers to the month of Elul. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the L-rd.”

If we want to rid ourselves of Corona, we have to “get out of the box” and begin to think and act in a new fashion. Isaiah reminds us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the L-rd.” To vanquish Corona, the jargon of medicine, immune herding, economics, and “ramzorim” of green, yellow, orange, and red areas won’t help.

We need the language of teshuva and a deeper, spiritual healing. In addition to the highly-infected districts of Bnei Brak and El Ad, let the secular neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and Haifa be placed under quarantine as well. Place the entire country into quarantine until we get the message and wake up to the fact the State of Israel is not just some other country on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, but the Holy Nation which Hashem created to bring the light of His Torah to the world. Until then, I am afraid that Corona 1, and Corona 2, and Corona 3 won’t go away.

As the Prophet continues: “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but water the earth, and makes it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall My word which goes forth from My mouth – it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in that for which I sent it.”

So may it be with Corona.

Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."

From Hollywood to the Holy Land
Tzvi Fishman