Rabbi Emanuel Quint OBM once told me when we were discussing Free Will: the Original Sin was not that they ate from the forbidden fruit. We all sometimes eat something that maybe we shouldn’t have eaten. No, the terrible first sin was that Adam blamed Eve, and Eve the snake.
“Them,” my father would say. Rabbi Vorst of Amsterdam points out (pun intended) that when we point a finger, easily we are pointing three fingers at ourselves and one at Heaven. Watch out for pointing fingers.
When dealing with (or denying) the coronavirus pandemic in Israel, many have pointed fingers. The secular at the religious. And back. Arabs at the Jews. And the Left the Right. And back. And everyone at the government.
After I wrote the above, I read that Bennett agrees with me. Good for him!
The truth is that only the public causes the infection to spread. I don’t say that to accuse anyone. I say it to help us stop accusing everyone. The first person singular and yourself are the only ones who can stop it.
In the beginning, it was like the beginning of the AIDS-virus. No one knew. But the first victims taught us. We now know how to protect ourselves.
Religious Jews learn from kindergarten, if not earlier, that Judaism is to help us live and survive and never to die by (rare exceptions don’t apply here), or kill by, or let someone else die. It would be inconceivable that they’d defy health experts and go pray in close encounters with many others. Inconceivable doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Some extremists (extreme left and right) glorify dying for the revolution, but most people value life too much to opt for martyrdom. Yet, we see the well-to-do (car owners) line up to self-sacrifice. Ludicrous doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Our Sages teach that no one would sin unless a mood of folly grabs him. If one would think, for a moment, one wouldn’t. People don’t sin for being intrinsically evil. On the other hand, they warn us against hatred, and especially (baseless) hatred against one’s fellow Jew. People can act at their stupidest when in the middle of an anger attack. And much of the local press (No, Netanyahu: not all of the press) and many politicians have been sowing hatred against the government with gusto and persistently.
And if one would at least hope that, through evolution, through natural selection, this stupid behavior would enlarge the ability to think straight among the survivors, forget it. Maybe 20% of those defying health regulations will get infected. Of them, 1% would die. That means that 99.8% will live. That will not improve our collective smartness.May we stop blaming, shaming, and hating, get to unity and even peace between us, and so, all merit a good and sweet year for years to come.
I wish/bless everyone with willpower and an easier life, with hope and energy, with joy and light, with closeness and confidence, with the feeling to belong and to be excellent as you are, with feeling your beauty and with sex exactly when you need it, with plenty and satisfaction, with love to give and love to receive in abundance, with giggles and nice food, and with shalom in your head and around you, for the whole new year. May we hear and see good news, and words and deeds of love, truth, and peace!