Coronavirus ward, Ichilov Hospital Tel Aviv
Coronavirus ward, Ichilov Hospital Tel AvivEitan Elhadez / TPS

Some six months ago, I penned an op-ed on this website stating that in the war against the Corona epidemic, acquiring more respirators would not help, closing down the airport wouldn’t help, quarantines wouldn’t help, and the discovery of a vaccination would prove to be huge disappointment, similar to trying to save the life of a man bleeding to death with a band aid.

Why are all of these measures doomed to failure? Because they treat the symptoms of the plague and not the underlying cause. And, sure enough, to everyone’s great regret, Corona is back with renewed force, and nobody in this great Start-Up county of ours, and none of the leading scientists in the world knows how to get rid of the lethal pest.

Also six months ago, I wrote on this very website: “Ask any child in Talmud Torah, and he will tell you that Hashem has sprinkled the Corona virus around the globe to make us pay attention to Him, and to make us realize that He is the All-Powerful King – not man himself.

Why do I use the word “sprinkled”?

Because Hashem has visited us with the Corona virus in a gentle fashion. If He wished, He could easily increase the potency of the virus, making it lethal within a meter. He’s given us a gentle sprinkle to give us a chance to wake up and return. If we don’t, then the epidemic will remain with us, Heaven forbid, and even nationwide quarantines won’t save us.”

Now people are saying that wearing two masks would be more effective than only one. In another two months, someone will undoubtedly suggest wearing four masks instead of only two. You may think the Master of the World will run out of mutations, but I wouldn’t bet on it. As the prophet said:

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but water the earth, and makes it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall My word which goes forth from My mouth – it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in that for which I sent it.” It is the same with Corona.

Whether we like it or not, the Holy one Blessed Be He has sent the world into another stage of Redemption. Until mankind begins to pay more attention to him, chances are that this plague of plagues isn’t going to disappear. Indeed, if I had money to invest, I would invest it in the mass production of the hermetic safety suits worn by doctors and nurses in Corona wards. That may very well be the next great panacea, until Hashem comes up with something else to keep the pressure on.

In fact, Hashem is already preparing us for it, in news reports about the thousands of missiles which the IDF expects to rain down angrily upon us in the very next war, may Hashem have mercy. Perhaps for all of its destruction, the Coronavirus is too low key. Maybe people need to hear the booms of heavy rocket attacks and see the towers of Tel Aviv fall down (heaven forfend) before they look up to the Heavens and scream out to Hashem for salvation. Haven’t our Sages taught that when Achashverus passed the royal ring to Haman, he did more to bring the Jews to T’shuva - repentance - than 48 prophets?

The only real solution, my friends, is T’shuva. That shouldn’t come as any great surprise. The Torah revealed the secret a few thousand years ago. In fact, the whole world is waiting for us to get our act together and lead the way back to Hashem.

Also many months ago, I wrote that Netanyahu was the man to do it. That’s what the leader of Am Yisrael is supposed to do, isn’t it? Let him stand in front of the United Nations General Assembly with a Bible in his hands and call out in a loud voice that the Coronavirus will only let the world breathe again when mankind turns back to Hashem. It isn’t such a make-believe scenario. After all, his grandfather was an outstanding Torah scholar, so he has the right genes.

Unfortunately, it looks like Netanyahu isn’t going to rise to the occasion. Then who else? It’s election time again. Who will lead us back to Hashem? Could be that the Mashiach is the only one who can do it, but meanwhile he is not on anyone’s list. The Haredi parties don’t seem to think that Corona is a serious problem, so that leaves them out of the race.

The only people who might make T’shuva a main point of their platform are the good people of the Jewish Home Party, Otzma Yehudit, the Noam Party, and the new Religious Zionist Party of Bezalel Smotrich. At least they needn’t feel embarrassed to speak about T’shuva.

After all, it may not be politically correct, but it is a part of being Jewish. It may not put an end to Corona, but it certainly would be a step along the way.

Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."

Tzvi Fishman books
Tzvi Fishman booksCourtesy