The Warrior Word asked Judaics instructor Rabbi Yair Massri for a Jewish perspective on the world pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). This monologue was recorded and transcribed verbatim.
“The Mishnah in Brachot says that the same way that you bless good things that happen to you, you should bless the same thing for something bad that happens. This is because we believe that what happened wasn’t really bad. In your eyes it’s bad, or you don’t understand why it’s happening, but it’s actually good. We see in the Gemara that everything that G-d does is for good, and we know that everything that happens is happening for a reason. When something like the coronavirus is in the world, obviously it’s really bad; it’s destroying the economy and people are being forced to stay home and some are dying. Our mission in life is to see why it is actually good and how we can learn from this. There are aspects of this new lifestyle that we are not comfortable with; it’s a big challenge, but at the same time we can see that there are positive things for us to learn. Looking at it through this lense would make the situation much easier. The coronavirus can be positive by thinking about it as a time to stay home with family and do things that you never had time to do. Also, there has been less pollution for the environment; it’s the first time you can really see the sky in China. There are also less people buying drugs; apparently in California the people addicted to drugs are running out of supply. There are lots of positive things going on since this has made everyone united. We have more time to learn and pray. This is a time to elevate ourselves and check that we’re doing the right thing always. Everything that happens is for a reason. We can learn from this and grow from the situation. Wishing everyone all the best.”