The opportunity to share some good news amidst the current crisis is most welcome.
My father, who was hospitalized for over three months while on a respirator battling Covid, has thank G-d made a miraculous recovery and is currently in a rehab with the prospect of returning home in the near future. Thank G-d!
There is no way to possibly explain how this happened other than the power of prayer and G-d’s benevolence. My father’s family and his many students, friends and congregants have been praying and hoping for his recovery.
From the time my father went into the hospital, our family has a call in number where my brother leads us in reciting specific paragraphs of Psalms together every day for 15 minutes. During the height of the pandemic we did this twice daily and at the present we do it once in the morning. This is besides the other prayers each of the family members were allotted to recite on their own. Prayer give us hope and displays trust in the One Who is charge of all.
Here is another remarkable story:
The following fascinating story was published in an Israeli newspaper. A married woman from Jerusalem contracted a devastating virus some twenty years ago which attacked her entire body which caused many of her functions to shut down. She had been laying in a coma-like state ever since, and no medical treatment had been effective.
Being a high-risk patient, she contracted COVID-19 and her situation became dire. Her condition worsened and she needed to be ventilated and her doctors and family members lost all hope that she would survive.
But then something amazing occurred. The woman successfully fought off the coronavirus, regained consciousness, was weaned from the ventilator, and succeeded in rising from her bed for the first time in 20 years! She had a complete recovery not only from the corona virus but also from the virus that had plagued her for 20 years.
The stunned doctors ordered a battery of tests which revealed that the corona virus had taken control of her bodily systems and had actually “eaten away” at her previous virus and destroyed it! Try to figure…
No one can explain the reason why we are going through this difficult pandemic. What we can do is try to be the best we can – because we know that G-d responds to that.
The Parsha begins with G-d guaranteeing us blessings when we follow His commands.
In the middle of the Parsha the Torah states, “G-d will give you mercy and will be merciful to you.” The Talmud which we recently studied as part of the Daf Yomi cycle, explains this verse. “Anyone who shows compassion for others will be shown compassion from on High.”
Rabbi Avrohom Pam o.b.m. points out that the verse begins with, “G-d will give you mercy,” which means G-d sets us up with situations and the prospect to do Chesed and to act compassionately so that we can take advantage of the opportunity and do so; this will cause Him to show His compassion on us!
Rabbi Pam quotes the Or Hachaim Hakodosh who explains that when the angels came to destroy the cities of Sedom and Amorah and to save Avraham’s nephew Lot, the Torah relates that they came toward evening. The reason for this was to give Lot the opportunity to show compassion on the guests and invite them in for lodging, for this deed would arouse G-d’s compassion upon him and save him from the destruction of the cites. Had they come in middle of the day, Lot wouldn’t have asked them to stay over.
During the pandemic we have witnessed in our communities an unprecedented degree of Chesed – whether daily meals for families, monetary assistance for those who lost jobs, people reaching out and checking on another, the devotion of volunteers, first responders, doctors, nurses and the amazing amount of prayers people have poured out not only for themselves but for others as well.
G-d sent the virus for some reason – while presenting us with opportunities to be compassionate to others – May we be worthy to continue to receive His compassion and Heavenly grace!