Yesterday, I was talking to my brother in the UK, who kind of summed up what’s going on:
Half of me feels like this is an overhyped load of b*llocks, and half of me feels that this is way, way worse than we’re being told and is going to be a disaster. And I don’t know which half is right.
I get you, mate! I feel exactly the same way about all this Coronavirus stuff, but in the meantime it seems the whole world is turning into a Purim Shpiel.
Aussies are slugging it out over toilet roll, and the panic buying has spread to London, too, where my mum told me my dad was out trying to track down some Kleenex and kitchen roll before it all disappeared.
Tomorrow, he’s heading back into the fray to try to pin down as many tins of beans as he can carry…..
And even in the Levy household, there was minor panic from the husband this morning when I told him that Italy had just put 16 million people into lockdown until April.
He went really quiet, his leg started jigging, and then after a minute he said to me:
Can we go and get some extra water, and bits, just in case?
I instantly flashed back 10 years ago, when I was stockpiling tuna, packets of couscous and mineral water like a crazy person because the autistics were telling me it was the end of the world….
Back then, my husband thought I was totally nuts, but he went along with me.
This time around, I think stockpiling is totally pointless, but I went along with him, and spent an hour unexpectedly rushing around Super Sapir trying to fit 4 six packs of water into the trolley around various canned goods, big boxes of cornflakes and bumper packs of rice cakes.
When we got home, I asked my husband:
Do you feel better now, that we got two massive boxes of cornflakes and 20 tins of tuna?
He tried to tell me that yes, that had made some difference to his mood, but honestly?
We both knew that he was lying.
All this stockpiling, what does is really do, except just delay the inevitable?
One of my kids told me that they want to be the last ones standing, if it comes to total apocalypse, God forbid, and I laughed in their face. Way, way better to be amongst the first ones to go, and to avoid weeks and months of agonizing panic and total fear.
And in the meantime…. I believe in Hashem, and I’m adopting the ‘no big deal’ approach to all this. Because whatever God wants, that’s totally fine with me, and I’m not going to start frantically trying to plant potato tubers in the patch of earth next to my house (like my oldest kid wants to) because there is totally no point.
If God wants me alive, He’ll make sure I have what’s required to do that.
Ironically, I’m actually enjoying myself more than I have been for over 8 years right now, since we moved in to the new place.
I love the garden. I love the view. I love the space. I love that it takes me exactly one hour to walk down to the Kotel, kiss the stones and return to my home – the perfect hitbodedut route.
Today, I headed off to the Baba Sali, to pay a long overdue visit and to tell him that finally, that palace in Jerusalem that he promised me so very long ago – with a garden! – has appeared.
I always get a lot of clarity, a lot of insight at the Baba Sali, and today was no different. I got a ‘message’ about what’s going on to share with my readers, so here it is. Take it or leave it, this is what I wrote down:
“Love Hashem! He is doing all of this for the nation of Israel. How much we suffer is totally in our hands. Lack of emuna = fear = great suffering. The more you can trust Hashem, the easier this next part will be.”
The second book of prayers from Rabbi Berland, including the special prayer to say to be protected from Coronavirus, is due to come out in the next couple of days. I’m sure it’s going to do something big, something massive, to change the whole equation again.
Each time those books come out, they coincide with some absolutely massive things happening in the world, that simply couldn’t be foreseen.
Also, Purim is almost here, when everything can turn around again.
I already don’t know the difference between ‘Mordechai and Haman’ at this stage, so I guess I won’t need to drink very much – at all! – to fulfill the mitzvah.
And in the meantime, the Purim Shpiel continues in full force.
It’s got to the point where I literally can’t believe some of the stuff I’m reading, like Chief Rabbis telling us not to kiss mezuzahs, and synagogues putting out instructions to not kiss the Torah in shul because of Coronavirus. The world is getting madder by the second.
Everything is changing and nothing is. The world is hanging by a thread, and yet continuing on as though nothing is happening. It’s the end of civilization as we know it, and also just another day of the media totally hyping things up and lying through their teeth.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
It’s going to take another few weeks until we see if this really is a big storm in a teacup, or God forbid, the start of a massive, fatal pandemic.
And in the meantime….it’s Purim.
And this year, we’re all feeling that everything has tipped upside-down.
I just got sent this link for a Facebook page promoting Rabbi Berland’s Coronavirus prayer. I’m not on Facebook, but if you are, and you want to help tip the scales away from a massive pandemic, please do get the link around in whatever way that happens, in Facebook world. Here’s the page:
You might also like this article: