To be saved from the disease and its side effects

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

These are critical days. Israel is likely to lapse into a serious second wave of corona and into a serious second wave of factionalism. Journalist Shilo Frid sent me the following thought:

“Towards the end of the Yom Kippur prayers, we say: ‘Our Father our King, remember Your mercies and suppress Your anger, and remove pestilence and sword and famine, and captivity and destruction and iniquity, and plague and misfortune, and every disease, and every mishap, and every quarrel, and every type of calamity, and every evil decree and baseless hatred, from us and from all the children of Your covenant.’ For many years I did not understand why after plague and disease and every type of calamity, baseless hatred is also mentioned. For these are not matters that should be grouped together. How is baseless hatred connected with bodily ills and physical suffering? The corona teaches us, unfortunately, that this is so.

Beyond the struggle with the virus itself, we are continually looking for guilty parties. At the beginning it was the ultra-orthodox, afterwards residents of Tel Aviv, and of course the police for issuing citations, and the politicians. We search for a visible enemy at whom we can be angry. There is of course a place for criticism and improvement but the responsibility is shared and we triumph only through optimism and solidarity. Here’s hoping that we will save ourselves not only from the disease, but also from baseless hatred”.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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