In this week's Torah portion, Moses begs Hashem to forgive the nation of Israel for the sin of the golden calf and says, "please pardon them of their sin, Hashem, for they are a stiff-necked people." (Exodus 34:9)
A stiff neck is the Torah's way of saying stubborn. Like any other character trait, stubbornness can go either way, for good or for evil. Throughout the ages, our righteous people have been so stubborn in their faith that they preferred to endure torture and death in sanctification of Hashem's Name rather than compromise their emuna. On the other hand, the riff-raff of our people have always stubbornly refused to recognize Hashem's monarchy and His Divine Providence, choosing the path of publicly and blatantly trampling the Torah's laws, from the time of Moses to the present.
Hashem is not some old lady in the sky that can do nothing against the Corona Virus, Heaven forbid. The first principle of our emuna is the "He alone did does and will do every deed." The Coronavirus, like all powers of evil, are emissaries of the Almighty and the executioners of stern judgment in the world. But like all powers, they can be harnessed to do good as well. Today's podcast shows the amazing way that the Coronavirus is paving the way to Moshiach...
King Solomon, the wisest of all men that ever walked the face of the earth, said in the first chapter of Ecclesiastes that there's nothing new under the sun. We see this with our own eyes how the battle between the liberal Jewish establishment's political correctness and the seemingly antiquated Torah sages that took place in Mordechai's time back in ancient Persia is still taking place right now in the USA and in Israel.
Today's podcast combines emuna news with our annual Purim lesson. Feel free to the say this over at your Purim table. Happy Purim!
A spiritual antiviral that's effective against coronavirus? Here's hope:
In a mad rush to prevent the global pandemic of coronavirus, researchers are looking for all types of defensive measures, such as boosting people's immune systems and looking for antibodies that prevent the penetration of coronavirus into healthy human cells. The difficulty of coronavirus is that its protein-like spikes serve as daggers that pierce and penetrate healthy cells. From a spiritual standpoint, though, I would take an offensive measure, and use a spiritual equivalent of what the pharmaceutical world calls antivirals, substances that fight off viral infections by attacking the viruses themselves. The power that knocked down the impregnable walls of Jericho can surely knock down the walls of the coronavirus.
Related: Go back and hear our podcast from Feb. 9, 2020 entitled, Protection from Coronavirus
Recently, when I spoke at a girl's school in Brooklyn and discussed the importance of a person having his or her own personal relationship with the Creator and speaking to Him daily, a young lady shot up from her seat and said, "Hey Rabbi, what you're talking about might have applied to Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah and other holy women mentioned in the Torah, but not to me and my generation. How could God possibly care about me, especially when I'm far from Torah and holiness and all that stuff? What does He need me for anyway?" Here's her answer...
The desert is not unsightly desolation as many people think. Its vastness and its many unique features, especially in winter, bring out an indescribable beauty. When we're alone - like a desert - we too can flower, as we learn in today's podcast from McDowell State Park in Arizona.
Life in this world is like crossing a dangerous desert, but anyone who sticks to the path avoids the many perils that are as soon as someone veers from the path, as we learn in today's lesson.