11 Tishrei 5781 / Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Corona Part 5 - From Lockdown to Freedom    

Corona Part 5 - From Lockdown to Freedom

Someone who can't leave home is considered to be in jail. Why would Hashem do this to us? The answer enables us to fix Corona once and for all...


How much do we need miracles during this hard time, just like there were miracles back then! As we are writing this article, we don’t know what is going to be by the time we publish it…  


How much do we need an “Exodus from Egypt” from the lockdowns and the quarantines, and we are hoping that we will leave these “narrow straits” through the Jewish people going to true freedom, and the freedom of the Final Redemption. We pray that during this “Festival of Freedom,” we will celebrate true freedom together in a rebuilt Jerusalem. At least, that we should be able to celebrate the holiday together as a family, properly… 


In the meantime, let’s consider the true meaning and significance of quarantine and being unable to leave our homes. 


Rebbe Nachman of Breslev writes that someone who is unable to leave his home is considered to be a prisoner, like someone locked in jail. From this, we learn that this current state of lockdown is one big kaparat avonot  atonement for our sins. The Creator in His mercy, has traded the punishment of being real prisoners and suffering behind bars, for a punishment that is much lighter – being imprisoned in the comfort of our own homes.  


With all this, each and every one of us must review our own actions and sins, and check ourselves carefully – why exactly do we deserve this punishment? The rule still stands: There is no suffering without sin! Therefore, teshuva – repenting for the sin which caused the suffering – is the only real medicine for this plague, and all suffering in life. 


In order to help us in this endeavor, let’s review two sections of Sefer HaMiddot (The Aleph Bet Book), where Rebbe Nachman teaches us why someone is punished with imprisonment: 


Number One: The Sin of Lashon Hara – Evil Speech – in all its forms 


The source for this comes from the metzora  someone who is stricken with a disease similar to leprosy because he spoke evil speech. He must go into quarantine for a week at a time, during which time he is expected to repent for his evil deeds. If he fails to repent, the disease spreads, and he returns to quarantine for another week.  


How terrible is it to know that people are in lockdown due to the sin of evil speech, and instead of purifying themselves of this serious sin during this time, they are spending even more time sinning on their “smart”phones, on the Internet, and on all the different forms of social media which are overflowing with evil speech and slander. 


Most of the correspondence and advertisements are full of absolute evil speech, and anyone who just reads or listens to such filth is equally involved in the sins of evil speech (negative but true information), slander (outright lies about people), sullying people’s names, embarrassing people in public, spreading lies and falsehood, cruelty and simply causing people untold amounts of pain and suffering. 


Our sages say that just listening to such speech “gives wings to the words,” then how much more true is this in our days, when these evil words can go “viral” and spread without control, no different than how this virus itself spreads! 


Number Two: Failure to Pray for Others 


A second reason why Rebbe Nachman says that someone can be judged to need to go to jail, is that he did not pray for other people. At this difficult time for the Jewish people, when people are afraid for their health and their wealth and are under incredible pressure – this is the time to pray that all of our Jewish brothers and sisters should return to Hashem and the Torah in complete repentance, and that Moshiach should come without plagues, wars or terror. 





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