Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
A letter I received from an elderly woman: “Shalom Sivan, Yesterday I saw hysterical women opposite empty shelves in the supermarket behaving in a manner that was frightening their children. Like everyone, I am getting fake news day and night on WhatsApp with lots of panicky exclamation points. The Coronavirus is infectious but so is the panic surrounding it and that too is dangerous.
I am one of the elderly. Everyone is in quarantine because of us, in order that we will not get sick. So thanks to all of you, but it seems to me that there is an area in which we can be of help to you as well, and that is in keeping a sense of proportion. There is one thing above all that we need at this moment: mature and stable people with an inner strength. If there is something that children need to see at this moment it’s functioning, authoritative parents who broadcast confidence even in an uncertain time.
I came to Israel from Europe after the Holocaust. I was here in ’48, in ’67, and in ’73. We experienced days of hunger and austerity, of shortages and panic. Believe me, our conduct is highly influential and important. It’s even possible to get through this current crisis with a smile. There is a graph showing numbers of the infected but there is no graph showing faith and confidence, but this is a graph that needs to be rising. There is a wonderful verse in psalms: ‘Let go and know that I am G-d’. It would be worthwhile to memorize and repeat these words every now and then. Shabbat shalom”.