Corona, AIPAC, Elections and Purim

When things are crazy, like really crazy, I find comfort in the craziness. If I see how insane something is, how unbelievably out of this world and nuts it is, it becomes clear to me that it is out of my reach or anyone else’s reach to change or manipulate the situation, so G-d must be in charge. And that my good man (or woman) is where I find comfort. In the mindset of “This is too crazy; God must be in charge.”

However, when things are only a bit crazy, or not crazy at all, I seem to think things are in my control and then, immediately after that thought, I get scared because really I can’t control anything. And I find no comfort in that!

OK- here is where you say “Sarah, what on earth are you talking about?

Well, I will tell you…

This past week I was in LA, NY and DC. Wherever I went, people were wearing masks and I kept thinking how incredible it is the entire world is wearing masks this Purim. But I also kept thinking, am I crazy for not wearing one? I mean, honestly, I had so many people question my traveling. “Aren’t you scared?” I was asked more than a few times. My answer was, as always, I don’t live in fear. Ari Fuld H’yd was murdered at the supermarket I shop in weekly; I clearly don’t live a life that allows world news to instill fake fear into my being.

In any case, I just found the whole Corona epidemic so unbelievable. I mean, here we are in 2020, quarantine and all, and this virus seems to instill fear in the same way the Black Plague did in 1347. It is so incredible how this one virus is taking over all the news, affecting airlines, tourist companies, major international conferences, people’s businesses, airports and even schools. It is so crazy in fact, that it has seemingly taken over every conversation at the dinner table, at local coffee shops, and practically any rendezvous around the globe. To have every language and every country speaking about the same topic and sharing this fear of the unknown, well, I find comfort in that craziness because it’s truly remarkable. It seems so surreal; this can only be an act of God and I feel in no way I can control or manipulate the situation of the coronavirus.

Ok, now let’s talk about AIPAC. It was an incredible experience to be there. And it has Trump supporters dripping their Trumpest views all over the place because Trump is an advocate for Israel. But here is the thing about Trump. In 2016, he said on stage, and I quote, “I am from Queens, Brooklyn.” So ya, maybe not the smartest guy on the planet. He says stupid things all the time; everyone knows that. Yet, he undoubtedly is good for Israel. I personally don’t have an opinion, because as a personal rule, I do not have political opinions. However, if I did have an opinion, I would say Trump is the easiest way to denounce atheism. I mean, only in a world with God in charge could Trump be President. So let me ask you- isn’t that comforting? I feel so comforted by the fact that only God could have brought Trump into the White House. On the same note, AIPAC is an ironic place. Lots of people are running around with Ph.D.’s and degrees. They are educated, groomed, polite, wealthy, smart, successful, brilliant maybe- and they are backing someone who says things in the most inarticulate manner, perhaps ever in the history of America. This is comforting to me. This craziness of Trump, and 17,000 AIPAC attendees applauding him, is out of our hands, not in our control, and it is comforting because it’s so crazy and just makes no sense. Trump clearly has an invisible puppeteer or marionette behind him. You can almost see the strings attached to his arms. I find comfort in that.

Next is the Israel Elections. Never in Israel’s history has there been a 3rd round of voting. It’s crazy. I mean, how hard could it be to build a coalition? Since 1948, it has never seemed to be an impossible task, and suddenly it’s the hardest task in the Middle East! So the first time we voted, it made sense. 2nd time, we rolled our eyes a little. But the 3rd time was so just so crazy, so wild, so unbelievable, that I found comfort in the craziness. Again, we can’t control this situation- this is not in our hands- this is clearly not being developed by humans and humanity, this is Godliness unfolding.

Which brings me to Purim. I find the timing of the 3rd elections, AIPAC and Corona to be the musser shmooze this year for Purim. The Purim story is the most unbelievable, crazy, not normal story perhaps in all of Torah. A king kills his wife when drunk, marries a Jew without knowing she is Jewish, has Haman’s back in his evil decision to kill the Jews while simultaneously promotes Haman’s arch-enemy. Then the king ends up killing his right-hand man and undoes the evil decree because of his wife, the Jew, who saved the Jewish people because she was in the palace. This story is up there with Shrek, Avitar and Star Wars. It sounds like fake news, science fiction or at best, a fairy tale. It’s a crazy story and for anyone who didn’t grow up religious, I am sure the first time you heard the story of the Megila you were shocked without words to express the wildness of the story and how it unfolds. Clearly- it’s just so crazy- there had to be a God in that story.

Yet the Megila does not have God’s name written in it- not even once. And Corona doesn’t have a label that says “Manufactured by God”. And Trump doesn’t have visible strings attached to a puppeteer sitting in heaven on a throne. And the elections in Israel didn’t come with a message, “These elections have been sponsored by God, and funders like you.” Because that is not how God works.

When things are this crazy, globally and perhaps personally for many of us, I simply am able to let go and let God because only He can create such craziness, combat it and resolve it. Only He can see the whole picture and be in control. Our job is simply to find comfort knowing that when things are this nuts, we can turn to God and whisper, “I know you got this.

About the Author
Sarah Bechor is a freelance writer in addition to her full-time job at United Hatzalah. She made Aliyah in 2007 and now lives with her husband and children in Gush Etzion.
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