It has been a truly exhausting week for all of us. It is perhaps not a physically tired feeling, but a mental exhaustion driven by the lack of control over our own world. It may seem as if coronavirus now controls our lives, but we must remember that it is, and has always been, Hashem Who is in control. As Rabbi Aron Moss, of Chabad’s Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, told his talmidim recently, the concern we have now is that the illusion of control, under which we have been living our lives, has disappeared. However, whatever Hashem’s plan is, we know He will not forsake us.
We at The Jewish Link are working hard to stay on top of the ever-changing news on COVID-19. We would like to thank our loyal advertisers, contributors and readers, and want to assure you that we are not going anywhere and are absolutely committed to publishing on our regular schedule. We will continue to help deliver your messages throughout this crisis, in print and online, until we are, God willing, past this emergent situation and back to our lives, which we understand may be forever changed. But for now, we will continue to be your source for the news, features and divrei Torah you have come to know and expect each week. We are all in this
We are not only bringing you the news, but living it with you. Your worries are our worries; your fear, our fear. We are all concerned for the seniors in our lives. Please remember to check on your elderly loved ones and neighbors. Like you, we are offering to shop for them, but remembering to refrain from close contact.
We want to continually reassure our children that they are safe, and validate their fears. We want to keep them active and engaged in this new reality. We are thankful to our teachers for their incredible pivot toward distance-learning and “Zooming” us through the school day. We pray that children’s natural adaptability will kick in and stay strong for as long as is necessary.
To be strong for one another, of course we all should guard our own mental health, and be mindful of those who have preexisting mental health challenges; too much unstructured downtime is often difficult to manage. We know it is okay and normal to be fearful, and always a good idea to express our concerns to our friends, rabbis and medical professionals. Even though we are all maintaining social distance, this is the time for as many social connections as possible, even if they are virtual.
We know that everyone is anxious for life to resume. For physical connections, hugs and handshakes to resume. For now, no one knows when that will be. All we know is this is the ideal time for us to come together, virtually, in prayer.
We pray that the sick become well again, that they have a refuah sheleima, and that our world will emerge from this event with attributes we recognize from before. We pray that we may again begin to daven b’tzibur, as communities, and that the eventual normalcy will again provide some comfort to all of us.
We pray that our healthcare workers stay vibrant and calm, and that our leaders continue to do all that they can to provide services to those who are ill, those who are well, and those who are still clocking in at work and keeping our society moving. We pray that those preparing grocery items and takeout meals for us are able to continue to work, with strength and in good health.
We know that now is the time to turn to Hashem, who in fact controls all things, and ask for His help. Nothing, not even COVID-19 and its effects on our daily lives, can separate us from our Father in heaven. This is the time to ask for a miracle. Let’s ask for intervention from the Almighty to help us through this time. Let’s ask for forgiveness for our iniquities as a Jewish nation and as a world, and remove this scourge that has torn us physically away from one another.
And finally, let us ask Hashem for the strength to follow the guidelines put forth by our medical experts and rabbis to enable us to all get through this together.