As members of the Jewish community, our staff is intimately aware of the onslaught of emails, concerns, repercussions and quarantines associated with coronavirus having been diagnosed in our community. Primary among our thoughts is to daven, wholeheartedly, for the refuah sheleima of Eliezer Yitzchak ben Shifra, his entire family and everyone affected. We advise all to take the advice of our doctors and rabbanim in these matters and stay home if there’s any question about health, even during Parshat Zachor and beyond.
We also want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible news cycle that happened before the coronavirus completely obliterated our news coverage of the Jewish world this week. Luckily, much of the news being presented to you was already written and edited by our talented contributors by press time. So, if you’re in quarantine, the good news is that you’ve got 160 pages of The Jewish Link to keep you company as you stay well, b’ezrat Hashem.
One piece of news you won’t find in the paper, however, happened Tuesday night in Highland Park. Kol HaKavod to the Highland Park City Council for finally passing its resolution denouncing anti-Semitism, 6-0. We are proud to have partnered with Highland Park’s Josh Pruzansky and Councilmen Josh Fine and Matthew Hale as well as many others, including our dedicated letter writer Max Wisotsky, for bringing attention to this important issue, and for, at long last, helping Highland Park get it right.
It seems almost cartoonish that our reporting of Super Tuesday, AIPAC, YU’s magnificent basketball team’s dominance of the Skyline Conference, and the Israeli elections appear to have taken a backseat this week to the rest of our news. We do have coverage of all this in our paper; we just invite you to note that almost all of these articles are “cover stories,” whether or not they actually appear on our cover. I’d also like to call your attention to Moshe Kinderlehrer’s incredible, fascinating profile of Argentina’s Rabbi Oppenheimer, on page 74, and my own first-ever published dvar Torah, on Masechet Brachot, on page 63.
Finally, for all those in our community with well-founded fears or concerns, or requests for how to speak about coronavirus to children of various ages, we invite you to speak with your rabbis and heads of school. God willing, we will get through this together. “Of extreme importance is to take pause in our davening as we recite the bracha of ‘Refaeinu’ or ‘Shema Koleinu,’ to recall the fear that has gripped so many and bring that to mind in turning to the ‘Rofei Kol Basar’ to cure those who are affected and bring this outbreak to a close,” wrote YU/RIETS rosh yeshiva and my rabbi at Cong. Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger, in a letter to his community. “Further, when we ask that ‘He completely cure all our illnesses (makoseinu), please keep in mind how this can refer to the present virus that has no vaccine,” he wrote.
This is certainly something to be mindful of as we daven for the refuah sheleima of all our community members, even as we desperately hope to speedily return to our regularly scheduled, ordered lives.
By Elizabeth Kratz