In a recent email thread forwarded on to us by relatives, there was a discussion about the benefits versus the potential drawbacks of wearing masks for preventing Coronavirus. I responded with the following brief email and thought to share it here:
I think the best advice for disease control and prevention came from a source much older than the CDC…
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Yesha’yahu 26:20
The basis of all modern hygiene measures is first laid down in the Tanakh (Bible) primarily in the book of Vayikra/Leviticus, which contains the original collection of hygiene guidelines given by the Most High Himself. It prescribes 7-21 day quarantine protocols for sources of infections and establishes bodily fluids as the source of ‘uncleanness and defilement.’ Long before science existed as a body of knowledge our Creator taught us what a biohazard is in the book of Leviticus. It is upon this wisdom that the ancient Jewish sages developed beautiful traditions tied to washing the hands, long before anyone understood the science of germs. In fact, with the exception of Christianity, every major faith tradition prescribes the washing of hands before and after meals as well as before and after toileting and other intimate acts. In fact, even Catholicism does preserve this ritual at least for the Priests who ritually wash their hands during mass while reciting a silent prayer asking G-d to cleanse them from their sin. Still, it takes the CDC saying so for anyone in the modern era to take it seriously. It is good that entities like the WHO and CDC are slowly starting to acknowledge (if unwittingly) the wisdom of the Tanakh, which condemns things like ‘wet markets’ and prescribes daily handwashing at all times, not only for pandemics.
What no one seems to realize is that if people followed the health protocols laid out in the Scriptures thousands of years ago to begin with we wouldn’t be in this mess! But, here we are……..
Masks, no masks, clinical deaths, economic deaths? Under counting? Over counting? The problem is larger than this. Personally, we take our advice from the great physician who alone can impart wisdom to the physicians of the world including those at the CDC
The security that comes from knowing that He alone is the giver and the taker of life is that it is all in His capable hands!!! Of course, that does not absolve us of personal responsibility either. So the question being floated around now is this, Has the “indignation overpast?” Is it time to poke our heads out and test the waters? Or are the extreme mitigation efforts we have all undertaken only just starting to be “worth it” and will premature ‘reopening’ undo all that prevention?
Perhaps a careful reopening allowing free movement of the lowest risk persons in the least impacted areas can help to reopen our bruised economies. Or perhaps this is the beginning to the time of Jacob’s trouble, and from here the Mashiach is swiftly coming!!!??? Only Hashem knows and in any case, the best PPE any of us can have is the armor of Hashem!
“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is Hashem Eloheyka who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” D’varim/Deuteronomy 31:6
Is it a coincidence that the height of the worldwide quarantine happened to coincide with Passover, a time when the Most High told His people to shelter in place. (See Exodus 12:22)?
Is it a coincidence that this epidemic (like most before it) came from human interaction with unclean animals (See Leviticus 11)? Bat Tests? Bat Soup…Pangolins? Whatever- something unclean…
Is it a coincidence that the epicenters of the pandemic here in the US were in states with densely packed populations? The best prevention is to stay away from people, which is impossible for those who live in big cities.. life choices, what can I say? In this trying time those in rural areas have been the safest by virtue of their distance from people.
This pandemic could never have happened in a global society that kept Kosher in the first place. It also deserves to be pointed out that according to a recent report in USA Today there is an increasing focus on the connection between meat processing facilities and the COVID outbreak. As they stated, “These facilities represent more than 1 in 3 of the nation’s biggest beef, pork and poultry processing plants. Rates of infection around these plants are higher than those of 75% of other U.S. counties, the analysis found.” None of this meat is Kosher, of course, though some of it is from species considered Kosher, none of it has been slaughtered and prepared in accordance with the thousands of years old practices of properly draining the blood and removing all the toxins thus it is terefah (i.e. unacceptable due to improper preparation). Much of it is centered around the pork packing plants in particular though, which are doubly unclean. Maybe it’s just me and I am certainly no microbiologist, but wouldn’t a pack of lunch meat make a perfect petri dish for a virus?
The problem the world is dealing with right now is larger than Coronavirus or Donald Trump or the FISA Abuse scandal all this pandemic fuss is sidelining. It is even bigger than the looming collapse of economies around the globe or the George Floyd protests. The problem is that people have lost touch with what they need to FEAR in this life. People are afraid of “Conservatives” or “Liberals” or “Socialists” or “Terrorists.” People look to the CDC for advice and heed its guidelines as if they were a GOD. If the CDC told us all to stop eating bats and pork because it carries Coronavirus most people would do so in a heartbeat, yet they ignore the sage advice recorded in the Tanakh thousands of years ago on this and many other matters. Perhaps that is only to be expected, after all, the secular world chalks the Scriptures up to being no more than old fairy tales… but for those of us who do claim to love and serve the El of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, we must use this time in quarantine to reflect on what that means….
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear the most high, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For HaSHEM shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good, or whether evil.” Kehilat 12:13
But if it doesn’t please you to worship HaSHEM, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve HaSHEM!” Yehoshua 24:15