On March 5th, I first submitted the following Op-Ed to The New York Times. I didn’t think the editors would publish it, and they didn’t. A week ago, I submitted the essay again, hoping that maybe now, considering the fact that the Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, the editors would reconsider. After all, God has been around a lot longer than all the other things which columnists write about – why not give God a chance as well? But once again, The New York Times chose to ignore my submission.
Here is the essay:
There is no need to panic because of COVID-19. Everything is under control. How do I know? Because the Creator of the World, the Master of Heaven and Earth, He Who Creates all Things Big and Small, He created the Coronavirus in the exact measure and potency to serve His needs.
Why has He done this? You don’t have to be a prophet to understand. G-d wants the world to pay more attention to Him. It’s as simple as that.
It is no coincidence that the epidemic is called Coronavirus. The word Corona is associated with the words crown and kingship. In the realm of Kabbalah, the Divine Channel of Kingship is the highest expression of God’s Presence in the spiritual universe. The sefirah – transcendent emanation – of Kingship is the spiritual vessel which holds the manifestation of G-d in the world.
The famous Sage of the Talmud, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, teaches that the plagues which appear in the world emanate from the world of Kingship, known as Malchut. In simple terms, the King of Kings has sent the world a nasty little virus to remind us of His Presence.
At the moment, if you turn on a radio or look at Internet news to find out the latest COVID-19 update, not many people are talking about G-d. In fact, He is almost never mentioned in the media. You hear a lot about grounded airplane flights, quarantines, concert cancellations, the dangers of eating live monkeys and bats, and how best to wash your hands, but very little about the Creator.
To date, there is no vaccine, and no medicine to combat the disease. That too is from G-d. Left to our own ingenuity, a vaccine and cure could take another year. What do we do until then?
King David has an answer, In Psalm 107, he writes:
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their tribulations.”
We find a similar solution to the sufferings of the Jews in ancient Egypt, as the Torah relates, “And the Children of Israel sighed in tribulation because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry rose up to G-d… and G-d heard their groaning…” (Exodus 2:23-24).
The Bible relates many instances in which the Jewish People turned to the Lord in times of plague and oppression, and the Lord saved them. On Purim as well, things looked pretty grim for the Jews of Persia until they fasted and cried out to G-d for salvation from the evil decree of Achash-virus.
It is time to cry out. Right now, G-d’s “Hand” is keeping the virus-lever on medium. If we don’t get the message and turn to Him soon, He is liable to raise the throttle a bit higher, Heaven forbid. If that doesn’t help, He could easily release a stronger strain and wipe out countries in days.
For Coronavirus, there is only one cure. G-d help us.
Original: Tzvi Fishman – Arutz Sheva