Am I afraid? Of course!

I’m afraid of Corona. I’m afraid of disease. I’m afraid of wars, of traffic accidents, of terrorism, of muggings…

I’m afraid of losing money. I’m afraid of not making a decent living…

I’m afraid of taking a bus, of taking a train, of going to the synagogue, of sending my children to school, of going into a shopping mall, of going to a wedding, of going to the doctor…

 

But most of all I’m afraid of the unknown, of the unforeseen…

 

I thought that I finally understood this world. That I finally understood how it works.

Privacy is out, globalization is in!

Countries are out, European Union is in. Open borders.

Local companies are out, international conglomerates are in.

 

Privacy is out…

If you love someone, it doesn’t count unless you post it in the social media and it goes viral. Unless you have thousands or millions of “likes.”

If you have a day off, it doesn’t count unless you fly somewhere.

If you shop, it’s better if you get it over the internet, probably from China.

When your child plays with his friends, they play over the internet, they don’t meet.

 

Of course there are the miserable ones, the unfortunate… the poor, the sick, the elderly…

The ones who need to walk to the store to buy food, but have no money or strength to go there… who don’t have the strength to go to the synagogue on Shabbat… who can’t afford to travel abroad for a weekend and don’t have a car to go to the beach on Shabbat…

 

Our focus has changed. We no longer look inward to ourselves, to our families, to our society… our focus is outside.

Our factories close down… not only car factories (Sussita) or airplane projects (Lavi), but also clothes and other manufacturing factories. Even eggs and tomatoes are being imported, because other countries make it cheaper…

 

And then, suddenly, everything seems to be falling apart. The world is turning upside down.

We can no longer buy everything from China, we can no longer travel because there are no flights, we can’t even go to the doctor because it’s dangerous…

Countries have to make do with what they have, families must stay home together and take care of each other…

 

And what happens to all my plans?

What will happen to my profession that I was so careful in choosing? What will happen to all the careful planning I did before making aliyah? What will happen with my child’s career, with his Chinese studies?

 

Are we heading to a major epidemic, like the Spanish flu in 1918 that killed millions?

Are we heading to a world economic depression like in 1929?

 

We don’t know… we have no answers…

 

We only know that uncertainty is part of living… we never really know what the next moment will bring…

We think we know… we plan and think that everything is under control… until something unexpected happens… and something unexpected always happens…

 

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”, said John Lennon.

The Israeli government says: “These measures are necessary because we need to protect our elderly.”

 

As long as “what happens to you” is dictated by the need to take care of others, this trip is well worth it.

 

David Wolf

Israel, March 2020

About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.
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