We Have Been Through Worse

Rebbetzin Chaya Chava Pavlov

Sitting in Isolation in Yerushalayim, trying to keep my anxiety back, and hold my students and alum close in my heart and prayer, I cannot help but think of other times.  Times when things were worse.  

I think of Nazi Germany, when Jews were fearful but had no where to go. They lost their jobs, their homes, their dignity. They were plunged into a state of despair, and there was nowhere to escape to, no one who cared.

True we are living in a kind of isolation, but we sit in our homes and dorms, with food, social support through technology, a government who cares, a health care system that is trying its best to cope.  Food and medicine are available. We have no one to fear.

Only Hashem determines our destiny.

I think of the Bubonic plague, known as the black death, when   25% to 60% of the European population died in the grips of a horrible disease that struck young and old alike.  True, there will be deaths from Covid-19, but most people will have light cases, and survive.

In comparison, this seems like a gentle reminder about Who runs the world,

I think of the Inquisition and Expulsion from Spain, and I think how we aren’t being asked to leave, but just to stay put, with our indoor heat, plumbing and the comfort of our own bed.

Not exile, not torture.  Time to pull inward to introspection of what is really important in life.

I think of the Churban, the destruction of our Beit HaMikdash. Blood running in the streets, our people taken in chains to Babylonia to figure out how to build Jewish life outside of the land of Israel. A first, a scary first, but one in which we succeeded beyond imagination.

After all we are still here!

So yes, this is a trying time. But let us try to stay positive. To see the good. It is easy to be sad, normal to be anxious, and hard to be cooped up with children or by yourself. Staying positive will help us survive it.  

And we will survive it. As we have before. 

Every new adjustment is hard. I see here in Israel; the reality takes a few days to sink in. And by then, there are more limitations put on us. So, a new adjustment must be made. And that takes a few days. And so, it will continue for a while.

We are in this together. Not just we the Jewish people, but the whole world. We sit alone, but not alone.

And we will get through this. 

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