Nothing we have done has come close to getting us out of the Corona crisis, and now after a year of trying it is only getting worse. Is it time to look elsewhere for an answer?
Let’s face it, we’ve locked-down, shutdown, vaccinated millions, worn masks (now two), fined people for breaking the rules, closed our schools, businesses, the airport, and tried every way known to man to fight this pestilence. Yet here in the world’s “startup nation” it is only getting worse. Do we really believe more respirators, vaccinations, masks, and testing are going to do the trick, or is it time we started looking elsewhere for answers?
How long will we continue to stumble around in confusion before we realize that there are some things that human ingenuity alone cannot control?
Throughout history, whenever pestilence and disease attacked the people of Israel, they wondered and asked why this is happening. To ask why is to wonder what we must do to take responsibility for what is happening. It is certainly not an escape nor permission to neglect using every means known to man to stay healthy and prevent disease. We are commanded in Scripture to take advantage of whatever medical or scientific means at our disposal to combat sicknesses (eg. separate lepers, wash hands, wine for stomach ailments (Paul) etc.).
Now it seems that for the most part modern Israel has completely forgotten to look for assistance from their God in this new national crisis, and perhaps herein lies the problem. Instead of endlessly arguing over how many more days or weeks to keep the nation shut down, might we not take one day to pray and ask for assistance from Heaven?
Would it be too much to expect our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for a National Day of Prayer and repentance?
Secular Israelis are now up in arms over the fact that Orthodox Jews refuse to obey government regulations and continue to pray in the synagogue, send their children to Bible school and attend weddings and funerals in large groups. Do religious Jews do this because they don’t care about spreading the virus to the rest of the population? Not if you ask them. They say that at some point we need to turn back to God, that there are historical events that are bigger than us and it is davka crucial at these times to look to Him for answers.
After a year of all our best efforts to control the virus, we have failed, and we cannot blame the religious Jews. In fact, as the situation here in Israel is only getting worse, I am glad at least some in our nation are looking to God for answers. As it stands now, none of our best physicians, professors, scientists, and public health experts can agree on a strategy to get us out of the pandemic, because no one knows how.
Is it not time that we consider the alternative? That when we do not know what to do that the Creator is asking us a question? That is it high time we look beyond our prideful ego that thinks we can solve any problem and ask why this is happening?
If we took but a few moments to consider “why,” some things would become immediately clear. Like our lack of care for the elderly who are the main victims and suffer horribly from this pandemic. For far too long we have ignored the commandment to honor our mother and father and respect the elderly (Lev. 19:32). Do we think we can solve all their problems with science alone? Why are we not willing to acknowledge our transgressions in the face of such a tragedy, change our ways and do what we can for them, not only now but in the future? About that question, too, we must wonder.
We could talk about the breakdown in our government, our estranged leaders and politicized politicians who are only making matters worse, though it is within their power, more than most, to make great strides in battling this enemy. Yet, without wondering why, which leads to repentance, nothing changes, it just keeps getting worse.
I hesitate to mention that we are now learning that people who have been infected with and recovered from the virus previously are getting sick again, or the fact that there are multiple variant strains that vaccinations probably do not protect against. I hesitate because I do not think fear-mongering alone will move us to ask the right questions. But let me be clear: Without looking beyond our misguided confidence that we can solve our problems with human ingenuity alone, we will not defeat this enemy, nor the enemy within that gets us so messed up in situations like this. This is the best time to wonder where we went wrong.
If the world is now waiting for Israel to show them the way to beat Corona, they may be waiting for a long time. In fact, Israel has already taught us the way a long time ago. It may not be politically correct, and may not put an end to Corona, but wondering why and repentance will surely be a step in the right direction for today, and for the rest of our short lives.