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Emunah in the Face of Fear

In a world where we have been in crisis mode over a pandemic for more than two years, we need to stop trying to define the “new normal” and move forward with looking at an acceptable risk level in our lives. In essence, we need to overcome the meshugas of coronavirus.

Obviously this is different for every individual, but we already do this every moment of every day. The risk assessment must be based on one factor: emunah. To do anything else is to settle for HaShem’s less ideal plan for your life.

As we saw in the sidrah on Chayei Sarah, HaShem has a supernatural plan on how to run the world. When Sarah questioned this, “Plan B,” one of natural means, had to be enacted, which resulted in a plan that was still gam zu letov, but nonetheless not the best the Eibishter had in stock.

Sarah questioned if she would really have a son in her old age. As a result, she did have her son, at the promised time, but according to Rebbe Bentzion Twerski shlita, HaShem had to work around her doubt. He promised an apparent neis, and when Sarah verbalized her lack of emunah, it blocked the channel in which HaShem could deliver a supernatural result, in turn requiring a natural provision via a different spiritual channel.

The same concept applies to shmittah. Originally, the plan HaShem had was for us to be satiated after a small portion, allowing food to naturally last longer. When bnei yisroel displayed a lack of emunah by asking “how,” it closed the supernatural gate and required a natural gate, which led to farmers doing more work before shmittah. There was supposed to be no work, but our own lack of trust led to more work. As Rav Twerski mentions in his teachings, this same concept applies to our parnassah and other areas of our lives.

HaShem knows we need things. He built us that way. So it’s our job to trust He’ll provide. Sometimes, even asking in davening is showing a lack of emunah. We need to be careful regarding this.

So how does this concept apply to COVID-19, Delta, Omnicron, and beyond? Enjoy this short clip from Rav Fishel Shachter on Omnicron. It’s really a chesed from HaShem, providing us a more virulent, less serious variation that provides immunity to the more serious forms as well.

In the end, no matter how many protections you take, HaShem decides if you get sick. Not only that, but the most effective form of protection is Torah study and tefillah. If one is holding by trusting in HaShem, if that’s their level, then that more than sufficient – it’s the best protection and provision. If one is holding by vaccines, then only vaccines would work. Pick your refuah: vaccines or Borei HaOlam.

Addendum: different people are at different levels. We’re not against vaccines. We are against, however, vaccine mandates and societal pressure. There are certainty tzaddikim throughout history that did not need traditional medicinal treatments, but also great Torah giants that did. It’s a personal thing, between you and HaShem.