Bitachon means trust in Hashem. As we have all read our emails and media headlines with increasing anxiety this week, we have had a variety of reactions. From the panic-stricken to the complacent, it appears there are about as many views about Covid-19 as there are people in this world. Many bar and bat mitzvah celebrations, not to mention larger events like weddings and foundation dinners, have had to be canceled, scaled back or postponed. And while they were perhaps a bit more restrained this year than others, our Purim celebrations certainly exhibited, in large measure, a high level of faith and joy.
There were full shuls during Megilla readings, extravagant costumes (don’t miss our costume page on page 70) and enthusiastic chagigot. While the sizes of the events were smaller, and larger events like carnivals were canceled, we hope they will be back and invigorated next year. It’s true, though, that even the juxtaposition of cancelations with the holding of public Megilla readings, delivery of mishloach manot and community seudot is hard to grapple with.
At the same time, we know that our medical personnel and infectious disease experts are sharing important directives that we all must respect and adhere to. The personal and professional consequences of long-term school, transportation and business closures or quarantines are certainly mind-blowing, indescribably more than we can fully understand at this time. Instead of thinking of how Covid-19 affects our schools, our cities, our states, our hospitals and our global economy, maybe we have to step back and think even bigger.
We have to keep in our minds that we are a people who believe in a Higher Authority than the CDC. While we must do all we can to provide for our neighbors, friends and relatives in this time of crisis, particularly those in quarantine, we cannot place our trust only in our fellow humans to deliver us from harm. We have to remember our intrinsic belief that Hashem runs the world.
In times of simcha we sing songs of praise to Hashem. In times of fear, as well, we must turn to Hashem, and yes, even now, sing songs of praise.
Let’s pray to Hashem to help us keep our trust in Him, to give us faith in the divine and to give us comfort during this time, as with all other times. May Hashem deliver us from this difficulty, as He has all others.
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