According to a series of reports on the coronavirus pandemic, Israel is now the safest place on earth. The statistics show that with a 0.6 percent mortality rate, Israelis are better protected that any other people in the world.
Could this be the Hand of God?
Many have pointed to this as a sign of God’s divine protection over the children of Israel. And with the problems arising from the Orthodox community because of their unwillingness to give up praying together in defiance of government regulations, one must wonder.
We could point to the strict kosher laws forbidding us to eat certain foods (like bats) or the laws requiring handwashing before entering the crowded synagogue, after a funeral and many occasions like around the Passover table. The Bible long ago instructed us of the need for social-distancing and self-quarantine in order to protect one another. “Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD” (Lev. 19:16). Even the requirement not to intermingle with idolatrous Gentile nations would have provided the Israelites with protections from many diseases. See my Divine Protection, Corona and the Bible for another perspective on God’s protection.
Even if we believe that the Divine Hand of the God of Israel is watching over His people during these frightening times, we might also consider that some of the God-given experience and knowledge that have been imparted to the Jewish people are also part of His protection.
Magen David Adom emergency services
Israel boasts what is probably the best emergency services in the world. Responding to terror attacks and bombings often with heavy casualties has forced Israel to develop an emergency response team and system second to none.
In these days, Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency paramedics and staff have launched a national emergency plan aimed at providing medical care for every Israeli man woman and child. The number of calls to the MDA hotline is reaching 100,000 calls a day. Many of these are elderly people requiring emergency medical care and other assistance at home.
By the way, that’s why we here at Israel Today have initiated a program to Support MDA and receive a full online Membership to our exclusive content. Get involved here.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
The relationship between the IDF and Israel’s citizens is unique in all the world. We like to say in Israel that “everyone is a soldier” because almost all of our mothers and fathers, grandparents, sons, daughters, aunts and uncles and nephews have all served in the IDF at one point in their lives.
During my regular IDF duty, I served as a battle battalion medic in Lebanon during the 1980-82 war. We were able to set up Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) including care fr chemical and biological warfare in less than an hour anywhere in enemy territory. Every doctor, surgeons and nurse are required to serve in the IDF which makes them more than prepared in their civilian professions to meet the challenges of the widespread emergency services this pandemic requires. Their experience and preparation is saving lives in Israel today.
It’s healthy to be Jewish
When it became clear that the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods were experiencing high levels of the coronavirus, there was very little protest when it was decided to lockdown those communities. The large majority of Haredi Jews living there together with the rest of the nation understood the need to protect the rest of the country and the quarantine was upheld without trouble. Infected Orthodox Jews are now being transferred to kosher hotels that were set up for quarantine.
Whenever Israel is confronted with a national crisis, it is our sense of peoplehood, that we are Jews whether religious or secular, black or white that makes it a lot easier to manage these kinds of national disasters. It is our common heritage and history that binds us together as a people and enables to respond as one (even as our politicians continue to bicker!).
Jews have a profound sense of responsibility one for another. This has been true throughout the generations and continues until this very day. In Israel, huge numbers of volunteer groups helping people during this crisis have sprouted up. They are visiting the elderly brining the food and fellowship, tutoring school children at home, driving people to the supermarkets or doctor’s office finding ways to help people with any and every need. These are grassroots movements, not government initiatives, that reflect the deep national feelings of solidarity that arise during a crisis. This is just one practical expression of the common cause we all feel towards our people, our nation and our land.
Time for Jews to come home
Finally, since Israel is now the “safest place on earth” I cannot help but remind my Jewish brothers and sisters around the world that there is no better time than right now to come back our true homeland. If you are wondering about getting here and what will happen when you arrive, relax. For the Jewish people Israel is not only safe, it is by far the “best place in the world to come home to.”
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