Wow. What a 24 hours. Trump’s speech. Flights cancelled. Stock market tanking. Mass closing. Panic induced shopping. It has officially hit the fan. It’s finally hitting home.
Where does this leave us? Do we try and pretend everything is normal? Then we are not taking it seriously. But panic doesn’t seem to be the answer either. Maybe I should just follow the lead and repost questionably funny memes on WhatsApp.
This too shall pass
There will be a season finale. The guy will get the girl. Hysteria will be calmed. It will end. This is just the way of the world. I think it’s apt that this is happening between Purim and Pesach. Purim is the מדריגה of “דלא ידע”. That I love G-d, His תורה ומצות even though I don’t understand. Right now we cannot comprehend but despite that we can connect and love. Whereas by Pesach it says “שמות ו:ז)”וִֽידַעְתֶּ֗ם כִּ֣י אֲנִ֤י הוי) By Pesach (culminating with מתן תורה) we came to the level of דעת, complete knowledge. The שעבוד had past and now we were able to understand…
This week’s פרשה recounts perhaps our lowest moment, the חטא העגל. But not soon after we experience perhaps the deepest revelation of G-d to us in this world, the bedrock of our סליחות, the י”ג מידות הרחמים. From the darkness itself comes the light.
But I don’t think this alone is the נחמה.
A couple of my friends have taught me an important lesson. Telling someone who is currently experiencing pain anything along the lines of “It’s all for the best” or “It’ll be alright” is not always the answer. Sometimes there is no answer. They just want you to sit there with them, cry with them, and show them “עמו אנכי בצרה” I am here with you in your pain.
Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately), this seems to be humanity’s most enduring and endearing quality. In our darkest moments our best shine brightest. It’s amazing how when we peel back the layers of everyday life our true priorities burst through. All of a sudden a political race seems to mean so little while our fellow’s plight means so much. We are already seeing Jews and organizations reaching out to help those that need it. Stores are going out of their way to offer free delivery to those in quarantine. I am sure over the coming days we will hear countless stories of heroes putting aside their differences just to care for another. (I would also not be surprised if some sort of mass, virtual prayer is organized. And I would definitely join and like Yonah, pray to my G-d while they pray theirs).
So in this week’s episode I think we find comfort in each other. Find comfort in the medical professionals going above and beyond. Find comfort in unity and find comfort in humanity. And most of all boys and girls, PRAY! He is the only One who can truly heal. Like משה after the חטא העגל, pray until you can’t anymore.
Wishing everyone a healthy SHABBOS