Last month during Pesach we read that Moses took our people out of Egypt after the Ten Plagues hit the world of that day. Those of us who were obedient and put the sign of blood on our doorposts were safe in our little shtetel called Goshen, watching as one plague after another hit the world. Today we live in our modern shtetels and we are watching modern-day plagues hit our world. Both Egypt the Hebrews were being reminded that there is a Creator and He is in control. Whenever humanity gets out of control, He is forced to take over. The world has lost its sense of decency and morality. Those who speak up for honesty and just policies find themselves drowning in the noise of political correctness. Our health has been taken captive by an industry that forces us to take their pills and their vaccines, which they promise are for good for everyone but for the most part, turn out to be deadly.
So, a virus, smaller than the eye can see has put a stop to all the noise. We can’t fight or hurt each other when we have to keep a safe distance. We can’t go too far from our homes and quickly have to return to them. Suddenly we want to go out. I have not seen so many people on the streets since I played outside in the early 60s. The kids are playing outside again, and their parents are with them.
Right after Pesach, Moses took our people to Mt Sinai out of Egypt where my people Israel were becoming entranced with their gods of power and gold and were forgetting the God of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Is that happening to us again today in America? How is it that, so soon after the Holocaust, we are looking at a tremendous rise in anti-Semitism. No one can destroy Israel from the outside; we, however, can destroy ourselves from within.
It took ten plagues to set us free from Egypt. How many will it take now? How many Holocausts have we seen in our history; when will it be enough? Our exile to Babylon for 70 years was because for 490 we didn’t give the land its Shabbats. This was followed by Medes, Persians, Greece, Rome, Spain, Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria, Russia…and now we are in America. Our Western society has been falling into moral decay and it’s taken a tiny virus to bring the world to its knees. While we’re on our knees, let’s look up and thank God for His beautiful earth and all that is in it, which is finally getting a chance to rest from our pollution.
I peek into the world once in a while, as I am sure the Jews in Goshen peeked in to see their world being destroyed. I don’t know how many of us will come out of this unscathed, but I do hope that we are using this time for good and inner growth. If we knew that we had only 30 days to live, what would we do with our life? Isn’t that how we should live each day? We could all memorize the Ten Commandments, the single most important gift to humanity by the Creator; we repeat them every Shabbat so that we can remember His constitution for us to make good decisions, to have human kindness and goodness. They may be simple but they are not easy to do. If we forget every other rule and regulation and just focused on these, how our lives could change! It would be a Paradigm Shift for humanity.