What possibly does COVID-19 have to do with Kamtza and Bar Kamtza? The key to the puzzle is Shalva Zalfreund, of blessed memory, a kindergarten teacher in Petah Tikva, passed away from coronavirus this past Friday, July 17, 2020. Shalva was an amazing teacher who educated several generations of Petah Tikva's children. Before she died, she wrote a letter to the parents of the children in her kindergarten. If you take a close look, the letter should be required reading for all of us, especially during the Three Weeks, a time when we're supposed to feel the lack and loss of our Holy Temple. Here is the letter and its mindboggling message to all of us.
Our message today is intended to be a spiritual antidote to all that's trying to pull us down and to enable us to truly feel good about ourselves. The "Three Weeks" period is a time to yearn for Moshiach and the Holy Temple, but not a time to be sad or depressed.
COVID 19, like everything else not only comes from Hashem but is Hashem's emissary to prepare the world for Moshiach and Geula, the redemption of the Jewish People and the ingathering of the exiles to our homeland of Israel. In fact, you could say that COVID 19 is the Minister of Education, teaching people what they should have learned on their own. Today's podcast looks at the lessons COVID 19 is bringing to the world.
The Midrash tells us we are a whole made out of two halves: the mammal or bodily half of us is the physical half. The other half is known as the neshama - the soul - our spiritual half. The more our lives focus on the body, the more we resemble an animal. The more our lives focus on the neshama, the more we resemble an archangel.
So many people nowadays feel short-tempered, or nervous, or worn out, or all three. The lurking threat of sickness and the difficult challenge of lockdown, quarantine and kids at home are eating away at their nerves. If you feel like that, don't be down on yourself, because it's natural and even mentioned in the Gemara. Hear all about it in today's encouraging podcast, which is bound to make you feel better about yourself.
The twelfth of our Thirteen Principles of Emuna requires us all to eagerly anticipate Moshiach. There's no one, religious or not, who doesn't want Moshiach, so where is he? Why has it become so unpopular to talk about Moshiach, to the extent that the rabbinical leaders of our generation are hush on the subject?
There's a classic historical pattern whenever Antisemitism exploded in full force; it was always preceded by plague or economic crises. The same pattern is repeating itself right now. What can we do about it?
Vertigo is a term that jet pilots use to describe spatial disorientation. When a pilot approaches the sound barrier, strange things can occur, especially on a clear-day's flight over water. The pilot is liable to become disoriented and to confuse the blue of the sea with the blue of the sky, and vice versa. Here's the good news: the way a pilot learns to avoid vertigo is the same exact way we can learn to cope in these ever-challenging times.
The Ramcha'l osb"m wrote a Kabbalistic discourse nearly 300 years ago entitled, Ma'amar Hageula, or "Discourse of Geula." There, he brings forth some seemingly cryptic preconditions for the full and final redemption, all of which are happening today before our own eyes, as we hear in today's podcast.
The darkness is getting heavier by the day: good and righteous people are becoming infected with and dying from COVID-19. Antisemites around the world are blaming the Jews. The secular media both in the USA and in Israel are blaming the Haredim. The tests of emuna are unprecedented, especially in the critical ares of health and income, but it's no coincidence that this is all happening right before Passover. Is there any light in all this darkness? What's happening? Let's find out...