Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
“We learned many lessons this past year while our daughter battled leukemia,” Rav Zalman Vishetzky writes. “We learned these lessons while enrolled in accelerated and painful courses such as ‘How to be happy in an oncology department’, ‘How to preserve your marriage when your child has a life-threatening illness’ or ‘How to relate to your other children when one of them is desperately ill’. But the most meaningful course was ‘How to live with uncertainty’. It’s impossible to plan anything. For example, in the morning our daughter would feel well and two hours later she would feel sick. In the afternoon she was at home and in the evening she was in the hospital. For how long? No one knew. We are used to planning out everything exactly and suddenly everything is uncertain.
And then you understand that this is precisely the lesson to be learned: To accept uncertainty with a calm smile. After fearing the unexpected, you learn to embrace it. You learn to let go. To be thankful for what you have. To wholeheartedly put your time, your money, and your destiny in the hands of Hashem.”
The daughter of Rav Vishetzky recovered, baruch Hashem, and this week he wanted to send a message to all of us: “Amidst the enormous chaos of the coronavirus, there is one thing that is very clear: everything is uncertain. Many people have been let go from their jobs. Those who made reservations to observe Pesach in a hotel in Italy are beginning to clean their house. Those who are about to get married don’t know who will make it to the wedding hall. To say nothing of the fear of being infected. All of us are presently learning a course in ‘How to live with uncertainty’. From my experience, to succeed in this course you need to open your heart to embrace the unexpected. To find especially in uncertainty a new kind of certainty that comes with reliance on Hashem no matter what. Shabbat shalom”.