Wuhan and Miriam

The food consumption of one small region of the world, is likely responsible for bringing a huge catastrophe to the world.

It is said that people of China eat bats and other animals which easily transfer viruses. A few months ago in Wuhan China, a group of people probably ate an animal carrying the virus; today, the invisible enemy has appeared to the chosen nation, and to nations worldwide. The world is facing a horrible disease which might take months- even years- to be eradicated.

Corona has been so contagious; it has spread everywhere. Doctors, nurses and the army are wrestling day and night to deal with the pandemic. The virus is sophisticated and no one knows how to tackle this unseen enemy. Governments across the globe have not yet found a vaccine, and the new cases just keep increasing more and more. The authorities have ordered everyone to stay indoors, since that may be the best way to fight the virus. However, no way has been found to actually stop it. There is no treatment and the number of patients just keeping pouring into hospitals every day. It is horrible. It is very intense to sit around for so long while everyday basic things have become so difficult. People are terrified of COVID-19. It says in the Torah that when the Children of Israel came out of Egypt and were in the desert, Moshe’s sister Miriam started to speak evil about her brother. Hashem got very angry at Miriam. He said: How dare you speak about my servant Moshe like that? Then she became ill with a skin disease and was exiled from the camp. She waited seven days outside, and only then she got cured and could go back to the camp. It is because of the evil gossip that she was punished. Today also there is a lot of anger and evil gossip among the people. There is rape, killing, slaughtering, oppression, envy and stealing from each other- and people don’t seem to care. People have totally forgotten about Hashem. Therefore, could it be that Hashem is very angry?

Today, because of the evil gossip and other bad things people do everyday perhaps Hashem has sent a punishment, just as He did to Miriam for been unkind to her brother Moshe. It is going to be very difficult and challenging to get rid of the coronavirus. More people will die; more people will get sick. Only Hashem can help. He knows that we’re suffering and that we’re broken. Just as He sent a sickness to Miriam and then healed her, Hashem can save us
from this virus.

People suffer from being home; people suffer from not being able to see their friends and go to work to pay the rent. People get tired. No one knows how long this pandemic will last. It is a terrible and scary situation. The educational system, communication, transportation have all been shut down around the world, and the economy has started collapsing. It is indeed a huge catastrophe that the world has never seen.

We have been told to stay home. We have left our siddur books on the shelves and said goodbye to our shul. My seat in shul will remain empty for a long time; I shall miss you. I miss seeing my friends when I walk into the shul. I miss davening together with my rabbi and other people who are obligated to say Kaddish. I miss the man who sits next to me. I too will miss drinking the cups of wine for the Passover with families. I too will miss having Karpas and Maror with family friends at the seder, and reading the Haggadah in group around the table as we do every year. “No visits” said prime minister Netanyahu, so, I listen to the orders.

B’zrat Hashem we will survive and be reunited again with all our families, kids and friends. Hashem is always with us even if we have acted with evil towards Him; He will always forgive us. We pray He will heal us from the corona pandemic, just like He healed
Miriam.

About the Author
In the year of 1993, Micha'el Derek Tanju was born in Darfur. At the age of 3 his parents suddenly were murdered by terrorists, because of this he eventually decided to move to Israel in 2008 from Darfur. He feels very grateful to have attended the school of Ayanot. The Youth Village in Rishon LeTzion, where he learned Hebrew and English. He completed the Israeli National Service and converted to Judaism in 2016. Currently he is studying computer science at the Jerusalem College of Technology.
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