Stuck in quarantine for 3 months gave us time to think. We were deprived of our normal lifestyle – no restaurants – no minyan – no outings with friends – no vacations.
G-d does things for a purpose. Obviously there is a message He was sending us. Did we get it? What did we learn?
One thing that out to strike us – is the importance of appreciation of life.
We learn in Pirkei Avot – the last section 6:11 –
All Created for Honor of Hash·m
11. Everything that the Holy One, Blessed be He, created in this world He only created for His honor, as it says: “Everything that is called in My Name & in my Honor, I created it, I formed it, Even I made it.” (Yeshaya 43:7) And it says: “The L·rd shall reign forever. (Shemot 16:18)
Rabbi H’anania ben A’kashia says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, wanted to give merit to Yisrael, therefore He increased for them Torah & Mitzvot, as it says: “The L·rd & desired – because of His righteousness – to increase Torah & make it mighty.” (Yeshaya / Isaiah 42:21)
Rashi there explains the word “Honor” with “His Praise”
Rashi clarifies a great point in life. By reading the Saying above – we may think that G-d is seeking Honor. Rashi explains that this Honor is praise. This means that everything in the world was created so that we can praise Hashem / G-d.
This is a great lesson. Many people live for pleasure. For them Pleasure is an ends. To Torah Observant Jews – pleasure is a means to an ends – to praise Hash-m.
I enjoy an ice cream – I say a blessing before to give thanks to my creator for creating ice cream. So in a simple act I not only enjoy myself – but by saying a food blessing on the ice cream and appreciating the ice cream – I can become closer to my Creator.
Thus every act I do now has a purpose. I live purposefully every second for every second there is something for which to be thankful.
I am a bit surprised that the Orthodox Synagogues are not full of new members. I would think that after the pandemic – people would be grateful for everything they took for granted. I am surprised that people don’t flood them and give thanks to the gracious G-d that allowed them to survive the virus and all the time they lived till today.
Are We Smarter than The Ancient Egyptians?
The Egyptians received 10 plagues for all the torture and pain that they caused the Jews. If they had said – you know G-d is probably rebuking us for our deeds against the Jews – they would have been spared by the plagues. To them Apparently the plagues was another problem to deal with. Once it was over they went back to being their former unchanged selves. The intelligent person learns from the message of G-d.
What message can we take from the pandemic?