What can we learn from the coronavirus?

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The Israelis that were on “the corona ship” arrived tonight in Israel and were sent to isolation in the Shiba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. This afternoon they will know whether they have been infected or not. Rav Yoni Lavi suggests that we can learn at least three things from the virus that has panicked the world:

• Proportions. In the 14th century the “black plague” wiped out one-third of the population of Europe. Other plagues in the past also killed millions. Medicine since then, baruch Hashem, has advanced. Scientists can now search for a cure for any and meanwhile are able to treat and prevent the spread of dangerous viruses. The world has advanced and we need to appreciate the privilege of living in this era. Humanity today has received an abundance of life and health as an incredible gift. But does humanity properly take advantage of this blessing? That’s already a different question.

• A small stone in the forehead of Goliath: China is the most populous country on earth, but extremely weak from a moral perspective. The powerful and violent communist regime tortures millions, without limit. At the same time, China continues to conquer a world that is almost entirely “made in China.” The first doctor who warned about the virus was investigated by the police and censured for “disturbing the public order” before he became a virus victim himself. China the mighty, the omnipotent, the juggernaut, has just received a quick course in modesty and humility from a microscopic organism.

• Yes, this is a dangerous and frightening virus. But along with it, 14,000 people die every day from damage caused by smoking, 7,000 from the damage of alcohol, and 3,000 from malaria. Did you hear anything about them in the latest news broadcast? What are governments doing about them? Where is the hysteria? It turns out that we just got used to these ongoing tragedies. How many lives could we improve and save if we also invested in these other areas one-tenth of the resources that are presently being invested in the coronavirus?

Shabbat shalom and may all who need it have a complete recovery.

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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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