Pain and suffering is a symptom and sign that the world is still in exile, that we are still in exile. A harsh reminder that even when we think life is going good, we’re still lacking the redemption, the era of Moshiach, the Beis Hamikdash; a reminder that the world is still not [yet] perfect.
The world is not perfect and ailments that inflict humanity still exist from poverty to hunger to sickness. Covid-19, or the Novel Coronavirus as it’s called really isn’t “novel” in this way. Pandemics have inflicted the world before, and suffering is a part of life in this exile. What is novel however, is this idea that has emerged that everyone can have an effect on the whole world through their actions and they may not even know it, regardless of if those effects are good or bad.
A person can have the Coronavirus, be asymptomatic (without symptoms), and thus not know. They may never develop symptoms and the virus could completely pass them by. But while they had it, they were still spreading it to the things they touched and the people they interacted with. Through exponential growth, the virus spreads rapidly effecting countless others, and the first person would be none the wiser… after all, they didn’t know.
We know this now however, and with this knowledge most of the world has begun taking into consideration the impact one individual can have on countless others for the worse. What this also means is that a person can impact the world for the better… and this is where things get interesting.
Handwashing and social distancing:
Every person has a duty to not just themselves, but the world in its entirety to take precautions against the Coronavirus. Together, we each can individually save the world through our actions. If our actions when we’re careless and inconsiderate can negativity effect others, then how much more so can we positively effect the world when individually we each do our part.
As Jews we can learn from everything, even the bad. The 18th-century chassidic master Rabbi Zusha of Anipoli for example learned lessons from a thief that he applied to Judaism about being discreet and not bragging [humble], fearless and devoted [to Torah despite the struggles of daily life that one may think would impede their following of Torah], mindful of detail [in one’s faith and the observance of mitzvot], etc… He learned out seven lessons in total.
Lessons we can all as Jews learn from the Coronavirus is that we can’t begin to fathom how our actions as Jews effect the world both positively and negativity.
While the rest of the world is beginning to realize that individual hygiene and mindfulness can save others, we as Jews who were gifted the Torah and all the Mitzvot within should take to heart the fact that our performance of Mitzvot in their proper way can have an immeasurable impact on the world for the better.
This is the cure for all that ails the world, Jews doing Mitzvot and following Torah because you never know what one mitzvah can do for the better and in accomplishing the goal we all want: Moshiach!
May we all continue do our individual parts and to always strive to do more as Jews by following Torah properly, to bring a final end to this exile and celebrate Passover 5780 (2020) in Jerusalem.