I grew up feeling connected to Canadians. After my Jewish journey began as a young adult, I felt deeply connected to the Jewish people.
This week I have never felt so connected to every single person on earth.
How many of you feel like we are in the middle of a movie? A virus begins in China and begins to spread from country to country. One day, world leaders tell us everything will be fine. The next day, the NBA, NHL, MLB, schools, houses of worship, Disneyland, trains, planes, even countries…shut down. The stock market plunges. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hanks get Coronavirus. Airports look abandoned, freeways empty at rush hour…
But it’s not a movie. It’s our new reality.
All of this exploded this week, the week of Purim, a day everything went upside down, when all bets were off, when events suddenly and inexplicably went haywire, and all seemed lost. But after the Jewish people called out to G-d and came together as one, a series of turn-around events happened, and with faith and courage, the Jewish people were saved.
The most repeated line in the Torah is, “Do not fear.” This is not a time for panic and selfish hoarding. This is a time, like at the time of Purim, to come together and trust in G-d. Yes, just like in the Purim story, they had to make their maximum effort — prayer, winning over the King, lifting sword to our enemies. Today we must also make our maximum effort: wash our hands, do not touch your face, do not touch others, etc. But do not fear — G-d was with us then, and G-d is with us now.
Our children, our spouses, our communities, the world, is looking to us to be a true “Light Unto the Nations.” Every human being is created in the image of G-d. Let us think of others, be there for one another, count our blessings, use the time to focus on what’s important, call out in prayer…and then, please G-d, we will surely merit a miraculous turn around in our time.