Thoughts on Coronavirus: A Consciousness Stream

“We need to stop speaking in the language of the Media [1] and start speaking in the language of Emuna”

It is hard to believe how quickly the world has been called to the mercies of a tyrannical king – and not a human one, at that.  Prophecies describing the end of days and the threat of an evil world power – who would have thought his persona would and could be invisible to the naked eye?    

R’ Ari Shishler, Johannesburg

[1]  The Persians were called “Medes” as in פרס ומדי. 

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The Medrash in Song of songs, 2:12 speaks of a plague that will come to the world just before the arrival of Mashiach. 

הַתְּאֵנָה חָנְטָה פַגֶּיהָ, אָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּא בַּר אַבָּא סָמוּךְ לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ דֶּבֶר גָּדוֹל בָּא לָעוֹלָם וְהָרְשָׁעִים כָּלִים. וְהַגְּפָנִים סְמָדַר נָתְנוּ רֵיחַ, אֵלּוּ הַנִּשְׁאָרִים, וַעֲלֵיהֶם נֶאֱמַר וְהָיָה הַנִּשְׁאָר בְּצִיּוֹן וְהַנּוֹתָר בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם (ישעיה ד, ג):

“The fig tree has formed its young fruit…”R’ Chiya Bar Abba said, shortly before the days of the Mashiach, a great plague will come to the world, and the wicked will perish in that plague…

“And the vines in blossom give forth fragrance” – these refer to the righteous survivors, and regarding them the verse states, “And the survivor will be in Tzion and the remaining one in Jeruslalem…”

(From the Artscroll note:  suffering and pain are symptoms of the world’s decline that must necessarily precede the messianic era.  A new order of existence cannot be established before the previous one has deteriorated….”)

Could this be now?

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Speaking of the Medrash in Shir Hashirim, the day that I suddenly stood in attention to the news and spreading fear of the caronavirus (was it last thursday?) the following page opened in my short nightly routine: (see photo above)

I couldn’t believe it.  In front of me, the never before contemplated word, carona, stood out in the text on the page.

The context in the Medrash was that for the 600,000 Jews over the age of 20 (as well as the 600,000 Jews under the age of 20), Moshe declared just before the exodus from Egypt that no-one without a Bris Millah would be able to partake of the Korban Pesach.  Immediately, the males circumcised themselves.  The medrash explains that the circumcision requires three partners, Moshe, Aaron and Yehushua, to assist the males perform the three parts of Bris Milah; make the incision, reveal the carona, and give the male to drink. 

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in my husband’s office at Ohr Sameach speaking to Shifra Hendrie from the Global Geula Summit about the prediction of the Ariz’l on the re-attainment of the “crown” of femininity in pre-messianic times (for more of this, check out the chava course).  While speaking about crowns, she said as if out the blue, “like Carona”.  For some reason, my mind didn’t go to the name of the just starting to become infamous virus but rather to the fact that there are parts of the human body that carry this name.  Clearly, I thought to myself, the anotomical term “crown” (in both English and Hebrew) is a hint to the enormous potential for holiness of marriage and carries deep mystical significance.  I didn’t say anything.

[פריעה – the word used in the context of Bris Millah referring to the revealing of the corona, diverts my attention to another usage of this word, in the world of a woman. The source in the Torah for the mitzvah for a married Jewish woman to cover her hair is found in the section dealing with the suspected infidelity of the Sotah woman (Bamidbar 5:18); וְהֶעֱמִ֨יד הַכֹּהֵ֥ן אֶֽת־הָאִשָּׁה֮ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָה֒ וּפָרַע֙ אֶת־רֹ֣אשׁ הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֣ן עַל־כַּפֶּ֗יהָ אֵ֚ת מִנְחַ֣ת הַזִּכָּר֔וֹן מִנְחַ֥ת קְנָאֹ֖ת הִ֑וא וּבְיַ֤ד הַכֹּהֵן֙ יִהְי֔וּ מֵ֥י הַמָּרִ֖ים הַמְאָֽרֲרִֽים׃

“The Kohen shall have the woman stand before Hashem and uncover (reveal) the woman’s head… and in the hand of the Kohen shall be the bitter waters that cause curse.”  Revealing her hair is synonymous with stripping her crown.  From her we learn that a woman’s hair covering is her dignity and a crown upon her head. But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.]

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It is at this time that we feel our human vulnerability with excruciating focus.  Obsession, anxiety and panic have swept our thoughts and conversations.  In the Scroll of Esther which we just read on Purim, we read the word כתר, crown (or carona) in the phrase “כתר מלכות”.  The word crown appears, in fact, three times in the Megillah – and no where else in Tanach even once. Though we can’t fathom the ways of Hashem, it is likely that He leaves a signature on His card as a way to help us find our way Home.  He is a Master Artist of Life, and history is just His-Story unfolding before our eyes.  What does the name Carona indicate to us?  How does it pave a way to our healing? 

In Sefer haTanya by R Shneir Zlamon of Liadi, the crown we wear as a Jew is none other than our Emuna, a super-conscious channel that every Jew has connecting him directly to Hashem.  Emuna lives above and beyond all logic.  It is the only line we have to Hashem that sustains us through any weather.  When we live with this Emuna we are coronating Hashem as King.  It is uncanny that the name for this strain is covid– read: Kavod, the Honor of G-d.  This name carries His stamp.  Baruch Shem K’vod Malchuto L’Olam Vaed – we bring Hashem’s unity to the world when we whisper – blessed is the Name of the of Honor of His kingdom forever and ever.  Kavod – honor – in gematria is 26 (כבד), the numerical value of Hashem’s primary name, shem hovaya.

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R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg suggests many gematriot for the Hebrew word “carona”.  One is that קרונה   equalls רפא נא לה – please, heal her, the prayer Moshe prayed for his sister Miriam while she was in quarantine.  So too, the One we ultimately pray for Her total healing is feminine, the Shechina, the lost princess of Hashem, still in exile and waiting to be redeemed. (To hear the lost princess class email info@thenexus.org).

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In the plethora of information being circulated, I noted tonight how the coronavirus cannot survive in warmer temperatures. 

This immediately made me think again of the Purim story, of Haman, of Amalek, of whom the Torah says “that they cooled us off on the way”.  Their primary purpose in the world is to infect the Emuna of the Jew and cool down his ardent love of Hashem, stripping the crown of Emuna which sits atop his head.  It is fascinating that this virus, as soon as it is exposed to warmth, dissolves and melts out of existence.  This is a powerful lesson.  Our emuna is our birthright and inborn, always available.  Only that we don’t allow ourselves to be cooled.

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N-95, another number with possibly messages to decipher!  R’ Labinsky notes that the name “haman” and the word “the king, hamelech” share the same numerical value, gematria, of 95.  In fact, in the primordial garden when Adam and Chava first ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Hashem broached their failing with the question (Genesis 3:11) הֲמִן־הָעֵ֗ץ אֲשֶׁ֧ר צִוִּיתִ֛יךָ לְבִלְתִּ֥י אֲכָל־מִמֶּ֖נּוּ אָכָֽלְתָּ׃ “did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Surprisingly, the words “did you [eat] from” in spell “Haman”!  The moment of lapse – as if Hashem didn’t know! –  that is Amalek,  the antithesis of our Emuna, our knowledge of G-d and devotion to our relationship with Him. 

The word “hamelech” appears 10 times in the Megillah, parallel to the ten “hamans”.  Haman had 10 sons who were hung in the aftermath of his execution, and the phrase Keter Malchus signifies the complete revelation of Hashem into the world through all of His 10 attributes/ sefirot (Keter being the uppermost and Malchut being the final one, representing a complete expression and reflection below as He Is above).

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Mashiach is something we know, we believe, but did you ever think we would be living in these unprecendented times?

I knew we were preparing for the Geula.  I never imagined how fast it could be happening.

He who fears Hashem has nothing else to fear.

This is an Emuna game. 

We had best put on our crowns. 

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So where to from here?

My son, Shlomo, read to me from the Gemara Bava Kama how to deal with plagues. It advises men and women to take caution when the angle of death is about, and walk gingerly on the figurative sides of the street so as not to taunt the angel.   The Talmud brings several sources of how next to proceed.  There is one verse that keeps sticking out in my mind, from Issai 26:20. לֵ֤ךְ עַמִּי֙ בֹּ֣א בַחֲדָרֶ֔יךָ וּֽסְגֹ֥ר דלתיך [דְּלָתְךָ֖] בַּעֲדֶ֑ךָ חֲבִ֥י כִמְעַט־רֶ֖גַע עַד־יעבור־[יַעֲבָר־] זָֽעַם׃ – “go my people, enter your rooms and close the door ; hide for a brief moment until the wrath has passed.”  These rooms are none other than the spaces of Torah study and our own inner sactums we call homes.  While the birth pangs of mashiach tighten their metallic grip around our bellies as we labor, we breathe.

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Let’s tune inward and upward, and savor each moment with those close to us.  Let’s continue giving each-other chizuk and pray that we remain healthy in these pre-messianic times.  Let’s get into the heart of our inner relationship to Hashem.  Let’s turn towards His holy Torah, and perform as many mitzvos as we can – those that most easily surround us within the walls of our own homes.  May Hashem bring a refuah shelaima, refuas hanefesh and refuas haguf to His aching world.

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R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg’s other gematria I loved… קרונה = וירא מנוחה כי טוב, speaking about the tribe of Yissachar, devoted to the study of Torah, “they saw rest that it was good”.  Only in Torah is our peace. 

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Covid 19. 

This year, for me, was the year of the Chava course.  Not the Chava curse, but the chava course 🙂 – our efforts as women to help bring the tikkun still necessary at this chaotic moment late on the cosmic friday afternoon (considering that moshaich/ shabbos will come as the Shabbos Queen enters if we don’t bring her in early).  Our conscious act of putting on our crowns, and understanding truly what this means.

Chava is 19 in gematria.  Chava is the name of femininity that holds within it the contamination of the serpent (chivya in Aramaic is snake).  (Did they say this virus mutated from snakes?? [2])  May it be Hashem’s will that whatever vestiges of purification that still need to take place from the original sin and sullying of Hashem’s Keter Malchus be quickly and easily cleansed and may we share in the simcha and yeshua of the ultimate redemption very, very soon!

May we shoon shout Mazal Tov! with the delivery of our nation.

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The chava course is available now at a special rate in the merit of our redemption!  Join our community HERE.  Enter in coupon code “returnthecrown”[3] for a special entry tuition.

[2] Also cited from R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg – the Aramaic expression of eating food before it is properlyprepared (a variation on the noachide law of not partaking from a live animal)is literally קוֹרְאוֹ נָא, called raw.  This is spells Carona in eery precision, phonetically. See Rashi, Shmot, 12:9. “אל תאכלו ממנו נא. שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָלוּי כָּל צָרְכּוֹ קוֹרְאוֹ נָא בְלָשׁוֹן עֲרָבִי:”

[3] Our sages speak in the language of חזרה עטרה ליושנה – returning the Crown (of Hashem) to its original Glory

I can’t help but comment that our first “Malchut Retreat” took place at my grandparent’s house.  They live on Coronation road.  I took this as a good siman at the time as the retreat took place just before Rosh Hashana.  Read more about Malchut on my Blog/festivals/Hues of Kingship.

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