Passover in Israel is celebrated with a certain sense of freedom this year, with the sensation among its population that the pandemic is behind us. People are taking advantage of the spring sun to relax and travel, almost without restrictions, while the situation around the world is completely different. Many countries continue to battle the coronavirus plague. In Germany and France the third wave is worsening, in Britain and Spain the morbidity rate is climbing again, and in Brazil thousands are dying every day. From country to country we see that the threat of the virus is far from over.
Why is Israel first to taste a bit of freedom? Because we are a small and smart country, a country where it is possible to make hasty and effective decisions, and to easily adjust guidelines for the area from one day to the next. Israel did not ask for alms from any nation but simply reached out, bought vaccines and began inoculating its population until it covered the country. The sense of urgency characterized by this nation, which is used to operating in a state of war, would have allowed the vaccination to start even earlier and even faster, but the fears, uncertainties and false news that arose about the raging virus contributed to the relative slowdown.
Still, Israel provides a good example of the management of the pandemic.
Technological and medical power are Israeli success stories. The historic Mapai party, which bequeathed to Israel a well-organized and accessible public health system based on social democratic values, functioned wonderfully during the pandemic.
Another core feature inherent to the Israeli nation that contributed to our effective response is our interdependence. No one in the country can be completely detached from the others since we share a common life. We have suffered together in the Holocaust; we have been persecuted as Jews for generations; we each bring with us our own immigration story. All of this commonality works together for mutual support when a shared challenge like the pandemic arises. There is a shared concern that the situation we go through affects one another.
This foundation of mutual guarantee among us will spur us on to develop further and become an advanced country in many areas. But at the same time, there is an expectation that the world will continue to slander us by claiming that we are the distributors of the coronavirus, spreading stories about how the Jews took care of themselves without regard for the rest of the world.
It is of paramount importance that we carefully consider our role and responsibility to the rest of the world. From a global perspective, the role of the State of Israel towards the world is crucial and complex. It would behoove us to clearly identify where we could and should contribute most to humanity.
Not only in medicine and technology must Israel be at the forefront, but we must also be a leading force on the spiritual front. It is upon us to demonstrate unity and social cohesion as a supreme value. We were founded as a people upon this root and have been nourished by it since the days of Abraham. Therefore, our first obligation is to unite and, at the same time, find creative ways to make our method of social unity accessible to the world.
It is not an easy task to project unity, neither within the complex state of Israel nor within the world in its present state. All of humanity and with us topping the chart are deeply mired in the mud of egoism. If we do not act together with cohesive forces to extricate ourselves, we will sink even deeper. This will cause the spread of more diseases and epidemics in addition to the existing strains and mutations.
These days when Israel enjoys a national respite from the yoke of the coronavirus provide an opportunity for us to take stock and ask how we will increase the unity between us, how we will show positive examples to others, how we will prioritize the needs of others, how we can continue to ascend and connect. It is worthwhile to make any efforts that we can in this direction, even if the actions are artificial at first, because eventually, the habit will become second nature. There is no more perfect time to begin this ascent toward unity than during Passover, passing over the slavery of our selfish approach to an era of unity and mutual guarantee. This is the journey that will truly lead us all to freedom.