The portion of the week that we read each week in the synagogue (or when we used to go to the synagogue-now we pray outside in the fresh air), is called the parsha of the week.
Since the Torah is the blueprint for the world or the GPS (Global Positioning System) for where you are in your life, there is always something in the parsha of the week that coordinates to what is going on in the outside world.
In my full blog, (read it at YehudaLave.com) I bring articles that discuss whether we made the right decisions to shut down the entire economy because of the virus. Discussing it with people is a waste of time, because as I teach as a psychologist, people think with their emotions (classically their heart) not their brain.
If you think that the right decision was made because of the protection of public health, then the reopening of the Economy seems to be the wrong decision. Since people are emotional thinkers like I said above, reopening the economy seems like you are murdering sweet old grandmothers (most people use this example, as grandfathers aren’t as sweet as grandmothers and they don’t live as long anyway).
If you think, like Dennis Prager, the famous American commentary, that the closing of the economy was the greatest mistake of modern times, as in America 40 million people are out of work. This is the greatest economic meltdown since the great depression, according to Prager, who has been a modern Jewish thinker and writer for over 30 years and is a major brain.
What was unusual about this shutdown, is not only is the first time it has ever happened in modern history, is that we quarantined the healthy instead of the sick. Every business and economic model always works on the principle of the “going concern.” Every day business owners and government leaders must deal with new problems. We survive these “tests” because 99% of the rest of the economy or business is running smoothly.
For example, when the CEO of the bus company comes into work, his job is to make his supervisors get the buses out on the street to move the passengers.
One out of the 1,000 buses may have a flat tire or an engine problem, so the supervisor gets the other 999 buses out on the street. He doesn’t hold the problem bus at the front of the driveway and stop the other 999 buses from going. This would be idiocy and against the principle of the going concern.
Yet this is what was done, in our current crisis. We didn’t know how to handle the virus, so we shut everything done. The forcible prevention of the world from doing anything except what politicians deem “essential” has led to the worst economy in world history since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus, that created this catastrophe. And the consequences in much of the world will be more horrible than in America.
There was agreement that something had to be done, but pulling the one bus that had a flat tire, like closing the sports fields and movie theaters, could have been tried before blanketing the entire and economy and throwing everyone except people working on computers out of work. It wasn’t. All 1,000 buses were stopped and we have tremendous unemployment in all countries. Duh? Wasn’t this a natural consequence of our actions?
The parsha of the week, Leviticus chapter 25 verses 20. 21, and 22 give a similar instruction for a full shutdown of the economy. “And if you say: “What shall we eat in the seventh year, we can not sow nor gather in our crops?” G-d says “I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year and it shall bring forth produces for three years. And you shall sow in the eighth year and eat from the sixth year until the ninth year when you harvest.”
Now, this is G-d promising to feed us. G-d has a track record. He fed us for 40 years in the desert. If he fed us for 40 years, logically (it is called in Hebrew a kal va-homer), he can feed us for three.
In G-d we trust; all others pay cash.
Why the governments of the world told all its peoples they had to stop working. As the people said, “What shall we eat?” We will send you stimulus checks, said the governments, after can’t we keep printing money without any economic consequences. There won’t be any inflation or economic downturns. We can keep printing money and send it to anyone we choose to.
However, anyone with a brain in his head, knows that this can’t work. The cash will become worthless. In G-d we trust, economic decisions that are not thought out, we don’t.
Here is a little joke to put some light on the decision as well:
A Logical Misunderstanding
Rivkah asks Shlomo, “I’m short of some ingredients for the cake I’m baking, so could you please get some things for me from the supermarket?”
“Of course I can, darling,” replies Shlomo. “What do you need?”
“Please get one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get six.” replies Rivkah.
Fifteen minutes later, Shlomo returns with six cartons of milk. Rivkah is furious with him. “You shmoo! Why on earth did you buy six cartons of milk?”
“Because they had eggs,” he replies.