Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column
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What belongs to you but is used more by others? YOUR NAME. What two things can you never have for Breakfast? LUNCH & DINNER. What jumps higher than a building? Everything. BUILDINGS DON'T JUMP. What do trees and dogs have in common? BARK.
If I had to choose between pancakes and French toast, I'd waffle.
Even if you don't have the Virus you are not supposed to go out of the house except for emergencies.
This is Israel on March 24, 2020.
However, this is not the first time we have been in Quarantine.
The Jews went around In circles for 40 years after they left Egypt because of the incident with the Spies and also because of the Golden Calf.
They had no Skype or Zoom and no online Shearim. How did they keep themselves busy for forty years?
One of the principals of Torah study is that each week the Torah portion (called the Parsha) sets the tone for the week. Along with that, we say the "energy" of last week's Parsha stays with us until Tuesday (today) of the following week.
My Rabbi (Ephraim Sprecher) pointed out to me that the last verse in the last chapter in the book of Shmoat (Exodus) that we finished on Saturday in the Synagogue, says "For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire used to be on it by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel, throughout their journeys.
Rashi, (our primary biblical commentator) however questions the verse. The cloud did not stay on them when the Israelites journeyed only when they stayed at home did the cloud stay on top of them. Rashi says on the verse," Throughout all their journeys-At every journey which they made the cloud abode in the place where they rested-so interpret the word travels מסעיהם as their resting place also called מסע and similarly in Gen. 13.3 -when he went to his resting places the same word למסעיו for resting is used for travel. Since from the place of resting they again journeyed. Therefore all of them (the resting places) between journeys are also called journeys.
So we are to learn from this that the resting places were also considered journeys. This is the lesson we can learn from being stuck in our homes. Being stuck is also a journey and what we do with this time is up to us.
Will we be able to look back on this period and say we accomplished a great deal and here is what I have to show for it (I finished writing my book, I cleaned out six years of garbage, etc)
Or will we say we played video games and it wasn't much of a journey.
Onwards and Upwards!
Chief Rabbi calls for fast day on Wednesday and not speaking on Erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan
Rabbi David Lau calls on Jews to fast or take it upon themselves not to speak on erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan in response to coronavirus.
Chief Rabbi David Lau called on Jews to observe a fast day day next week in response to the growing coronavirus epidemic.
In an open letter to the public, he wrote:
"This is a time of troubles for [the sons of] Jacob (Jeremiah 30, ed.).
"The Jewish people are suffering, as is the entire world.
"At this time, we must engage in soul searching. As believing Jews, we know that the Hand of Providence is behind this and that it comes to tell us something, Our Sages said: 'Man does not lift a finger on earth unless it has been decreed in the heavens'.
"The situation is serious. We feel the flaming sword the world over and at this time, in addition to complete obedience to the guiding lines of the health authorities, we must also try to be more careful in observing the commandments between man and man, as well as those between man and G-d."
The Chief Rabbi announced: "On Wednesday this week, it will be the eve of the month of Nisan. According to Rabbi Yehoshua, in Nisan, the world was created, so that it is the eve of the new year, a day of prayer and supplication. I ask that anyone who is able to, take it upon themselves to fast, even for half a day, And whoever has difficulty fasting or a health issue should take upon themselves to refrain from speaking (called a 'fast of silence', ed.)"
In Wednesday's afternoon service, the Chief Rabbi said to recite the "selichot," prayers for Yom Kippur Katan, which have been the way Jews have asked for salvation since ancient times. When praying alone, he added, the 13 Attributes of G-d, which are part of the prayer, should be chanted as if reading from the Torah scroll.
The Chief Rabbi ended his letter with the heartfelt prayer: "And may our benevolent G-d listen to our prayers and respond to them, delivering us from all harsh decrees, saving, with His abundant merices, His people of Israel and people in need the world over."
New York City Safe Sex guide during CoronaVirus
This was issued by the New York City Health Department, it was not a joke.
Not compliant with Torah directives by any means. I am sharing it with you as news, not as Torah.