We are on the threshold of a complete revolution—a substantial change in our attitude toward ourselves, society, humanity and all of nature. Rosh Hashanah, in Hebrew meaning the “head” or “beginning” of “the year,” arrives at a special time, one like never before, in the midst of a pandemic. We are aware of the far-reaching impact of the virus, but we need to ask ourselves for what purpose did it arrive? The answer to this question is the key to a good new year, a shana tovah 5781.
The coronavirus is showing us just how our individualistic, self-serving behavior is leading us to destruction and pain. By looking ourselves square in the eyes in the mirror, with complete honesty, we will want to reform and correct our nature into one that only wants mutual cooperation and unity. The increasing challenges and predicaments we are experiencing awaken worldwide introspection in order to realize that the current path humanity treads is not leading us to a good place. This recognition alone is already a very important step in our development. The coronavirus has turned out to be a force that is awakening humanity to undertake a complete revision of its state.
Our current understanding of what is happening boils down to awareness that we are being beaten by this virus. But our discernments do not dig deeper than that. We have no idea what the blows are directing us toward, where they are coming from and, more importantly, for what purpose. We are as helpless and disoriented as a newborn baby who feels pain and will not stop crying, without any understanding of the reason for the situation.
Thus, our most important challenge is to discover the reason for the coronavirus, not in the biological sense, but in the essential sense, from its very origin. Social distancing, masks, crowd prevention, a global race for a vaccine, experimental treatments—all are measures looking to alleviate the problem of COVID-19. Nevertheless, none will be able to constitute a comprehensive solution to the coronavirus phenomenon. Nature, just like a loving parent, always works for the good of all creation together. The blows, pressures and anguish, as painful as they feel to each individual, do not come to harm us, but to bring us to balance with nature, and by that, to a better life. Their purpose is to sharpen our awareness of our priorities in life, of what really matters: our harmonious relations with each other and with nature.
The pandemic is aimed at teaching us how to approach our surrounding environment properly, in an integrated and complementary way, with the desire to do good to others and to our environment. Nature is global, integral and unified. Thus, the trend of evolutionary development is to cause us to identify ourselves with those same qualities, despite the fact that we were created different and distant from each other.
The coronavirus era is reshaping our lives, literally by force. It is moving us toward a higher and more advanced world in which all the parts are bound together. The fact that the world looks exactly the opposite now—filled with ego games, violence, corruption, struggles and riots—is all part of the development process. If at the beginning of the pandemic we still saw manifestations of solidarity and mutual help, today everyone’s patience has run out. Moreover, the illusion that we treat each other well has been shattered, and it has become clear that it is human nature to look out for only oneself.
The helplessness we are feeling will lead us to search for guidance from our sages who, throughout thousands of years, created a unifying method for this special time to usher humanity to a new horizon. This timeless method develops in a person the vision and feeling that we are all within one system. Once this notion is firmly instilled in us, it becomes natural to treat others as we would like to be treated until we become “as one man in one heart.” And when we are finally harmoniously connected, we will feel how the one power in nature that rules everything in reality does only good to us.
So, what should we wish ourselves for the new year? First, to recognize our egoistic human nature as a self-destructive force that separates us. Second, that we will desire to change direction and connect for the good of all. By this, we will activate the force in nature that radiates a healthy and peaceful world. Our intention and will to build a deep connection between our hearts will heal the coronavirus at its root and will ensure that next year will be the sweetest we have ever experienced, a true shana tovah.
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