The Mask is Off

Rabbi Moishe Kievman

This coronavirus thing has completely thrown us off. After the President’s announcement in regards to flights from Europe, we right away booked a flight for our son Mendel to bring him home from his high school in Belgium. We actually had to wake someone else up, to get him up in the middle of the night, to be able to make it on the flight. Thank G-d we just made it!

How do we stay sane when we don’t know what will happen next? How do we deal with all the panic and fears?

Perhaps, it’s time to take a step back and recognize that we have not lost our sense of certainty, since we never really had it to begin with. Rather, we have lost our illusion of certainty. Now, this could be majorly unsettling or amazingly liberating.

This tiny virus of 125 nanometres (a nanometer is one billionth of a metre) has sent the entire world into chaos. All of our plans are up in the air, markets are going crazy, entire countries shutting down, and we have no clue what the future holds.

But that is always the case. We never know what the future holds. We only think we do and keep getting surprised when things don’t pan out the way we expected. Now the mask is off. We have to admit our vulnerability.

What will happen next? We don’t know. Our experts don’t know. Our leaders don’t know. Only G-d knows. And that is the entire point. Only G-d knows!

Let’s close our eyes and feel the uncertainty, make peace with it, let ourselves be taken by it. Let’s embrace our cluelessness. Because in all the confusion there is only one thing we know for sure. We’re in G-d’s hands.

Panic and fear are also contagious. Let’s take every precaution as advised by health authorities. We should not go anywhere unless we truly must, we should keep social distances, wash our hands well. And every time we do, remember whose hands we are really in.

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