You have already seen the article below. It was written by me some six months ago for Shabbos Hagadol, the Shabbos before Pesach. I think it is time to re-read it.
Now, almost eleven months after we first heard of Covid 19, we do not know much more than we did at the beginning. One thing we do know is that it is not going away so fast. As Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits wrote, also about six months ago, “Nobody in this world knows if, when and how this [pandemic] is going to end.”
Note the word “if.” That is a big “IF.”
Corona is not here so that we can blame others.
Corona’s message is the message of the Plagues in Biblical Egypt: “Children of Israel, let go of the foreign culture in which you are drowning.”
In this week’s Parsha, a Flood is unleashed upon the world because its inhabitants had rebelled against Hashem to such an extent that they were beyond teshuva.
My friends, we are not yet beyond teshuva. It has not quite gone that far.
But we have to hear the message of Corona.
It is time to restore the Crown to Hashem! It is time to stop blaming others and look inside. A new world is coming in which the Crown will be restored to the King of Kings!
Do you know the literal meaning of the word “corona?”
“Corona” means “crown.” In fact, the words sound almost the same. “Corona” is derived from Latin, the language of Edom/Esav, the language of the Roman Empire. The Torah lists – among the descendants of Esav – Magdiel, about whom Rashi comments, “Magdiel is Rome.” (Beraishis 36:43) This is the same Rome which destroyed the Second Temple and sent us into our present Exile.
The symbol of Edom is the chazir, the pig. (Vayikra Rabbah, Parshas Shemini) Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler explains why the “chazir” is so named.
This, my friends, is breathtaking!
The word “chazir” is related to “chazzara… to bring back.” Rav Dessler explains that Golus Edom will end by restoring the Crown to its Owner, the King of the Universe! (I thank Rabbi Shaul Geller for bringing this to my attention.)
The Children of Israel are constantly recalling the Exodus from Egypt. Every day we mention Yetzias Mitzraim in the Shema. We cannot begin Shabbos without mentioning Yetzias Mitzraim. Why is Yetzias Mitzraim so fundamental?
My friends, the Exodus is going to be repeated at the end of history. “Several times I heard from the holy Chofetz Chaim that we can learn about the end of our exile from what happened at the end of our exile in Egypt, as it says (Micha 7:15), ‘As in the days of your leaving Egypt, I will show wonders [in the final redemption].’” (Rabbi Elchonen Wasserman, quoted in Redemption Unfolding, page 78)
We have to understand what is happening in our own days. In Ancient Egypt, Hashem overturned an entire civilization to free Am Yisroel from enslavement to a corrupt and idolatrous culture. The Plagues came to free us, not to enslave us. The same thing will happen at the end of history.
“Is there any doubt that on that day – the words of Hashem – I will cause the wise men of Edom to be lost and discernment from the mountain of Esav? Your mighty ones to the south will be smashed so that every man from Esau’s mountain will be cut down through the slaughter. For your violence to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you and you will be cut down forever…. The day of Hashem upon all the nations is near… for you have drunk on My holy mountain, so shall all the nations always drink; they shall drink and swallow and become as if they had never been.… The House of Jacob will be as fire and the House of Yosef a flame … and the House of Esav like straw. They will kindle among them and consume them … for Hashem has spoken…. Then saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge Esav’s mountain and the kingdom will be Hashem’s.” (Ovadiah 1:8ff, Haftaras Vayishlach)
We were freed from Ancient Egypt and we will be freed from our current bondage. The entire world is shaking. May we soon see the day when the Crown is restored to the king!