Part 3 – No Fear of Corona
There is nothing to fear from the Coronavirus! Easy to say; hard to feel. Many people are panicking. Here is some wonderful, simple advice to help…
During Rabbi Arush’s first lesson on Coronavirus, he read through Sefer HaMiddot – in English, called The Aleph-Bet Book, about captives, which in our days applies to people who were forced to be isolated/in quarantine (for those of us who are still free to at least shop for food, it’s also good advice on what to do teshuva in order to be saved from it!). Today, Rabbi Arush read through the section on Pachad – Fear (page 391 in the updated version). I will use the same format here – italics after the quote from the book – for Rabbi Arush’s comments. My comments are set in [brackets].
First of all, I want you to know that there is nothing to fear from the Coronavirus! How much do we need to say thank you for the wonderful gift Hashem gave us called “coronavirus!” Seriously! Spend some time every day saying “thank you Hashem” for the coronavirus!
Shabbat – if you won’t keep it voluntarily, now Hashem is going to make you keep it! It’s a wonder of wonders! Everything is closed this Shabbat! Who was able to do this before? You cannot imagine what kind of sins it is for the Jewish people, that people are breaking Shabbat openly, stores are open, etc. It is as if you are saying that there is no God, G-d forbid! Coronavirus has done what no one could do!
So keep Shabbat in your house too – how simple is it to set up a hot plate, and just don’t turn on anything! One who guards the Shabbat – Hashem guards him! Even if you keep Shabbat, do a little more this week – bring in Shabbat early, sing more, have some special treats this week. If all of the Jewish people will keep even one Shabbat – the Redemption will come with mercy!
Across the board, how many people have strengthened themselves in Torah, mitzvot and emuna because of Corona! Because of corona, the sins of the Jewish people have been minimized, and the merits of the Jewish people have greatly increased! It’s a wonder!
When Moshiach comes, he is going to tell all of us: “You were afraid of corona? Come, let me show you what I did with the Corona! Your enemies wanted to do various things, and I sent them the Corona!” Hashem is doing amazing things for the salvation of Israel! We have an amazing opportunity to take part in the Redemption! We have to do it! In any case, this knowledge should help you be less afraid.
Additionally, Rebbe Nachman teaches us a rule: Someone who request mercy for his friend, Hashem has mercy on him. We all need mercy right now! So, request mercy for others – pray for the Jewish people. It isn’t easy for everyone to do this in their own words, so the best thing is to say Psalms for the Jewish people. What, you don’t know how to read a book? Everyone is sitting at home right now – say Psalms, as many as you can every day!
It also says: “Someone who returns others in repentance, is saved.” It isn’t easy to return someone in teshuva, but it’s easy to give them a book or a CD! I cannot stress enough the importance of distributing emuna!
[Now here is the list from Sefer HaMiddot on all the things that save someone from fear]:
- Trust in God (bitachon). This includes emuna! Someone who is strong in emuna, won’t have fear! What does it mean to “hold on to emuna.” How do you hold onto emuna? Literally! Watch the videos on breslev.com [and read the articles!], on Youtube, read the books, in Israel there is the “Kav Emuna” 02-6444-250 where you can call and listen to classes on emuna [there is also a special extension for classes on coronavirus now], speak about emuna! In particular, read The Garden of Emuna.
- Remembering Avraham Avinu. Sometimes parents come to me about a child who has fears. I tell them: At night, light a candle for Avraham Avinu, because it is a segula to cancel fear.
- Recite Psalms. Psalms are really something! If you are sick, Psalms bring healing. You’ll receive emuna and bitachon reading Psalms. They are also a shield! Be strong to say as many as you can! 20, 30 a day, the entire Book of Psalms every day!
[For many of us English speakers, Psalms can sometimes be difficult, especially just to sit down and read ones that are less familiar. I suggest the 10 Psalms of Tikkun HaKlali – preferably without interruption – 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150 – as well as Psalms 19, 20, 121, 122, 123, 130 and 142. You can also read the Psalms for healing or other things you need – many editions have lists of Psalms for various problems. Of course add more if you can – this is just a suggestion.]
- Worry brings fear. This is another reason why emuna is so crucially important! Don’t worry, because worry will make you afraid. And Rebbe Nachman teaches us: “The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to be afraid.” The main advice is not to be afraid! Strengthen your emuna to not worry so you will not be afraid!
- A house that has fear in it, the Other Side has a portion it that house. So many times parents come to me about a child that has fears, and I recommend that they carefully check the house for bad things. For instance, many pictures of Jerusalem have crosses in them. Get the picture out of the house, and the fear goes away! Make sure your house is a house where there aren’t bad things in it.
- Remember the name Elokim. Picture the name אלוהים in your mind’s eye.
- Go to the mikvah (for men). Right now that is a little difficult to do, but it is good advice if you can do it. Hashem should help us.
- The light of a candle. It’s very good to light candles for the tzaddikim. [Of course a candle for Rebbe Nachman is recommended in particular. A ner tamid – candle that burns always – in Rebbe Nachman’s merit is a segula for many things, including to be saved from a time of destruction.]
- Learn Torah while eating a meal. This is also a segula for many things, including emuna and strength. You get a lot of good things by doing it, including being saved from fear!
Right now, is a time of birur – separation and clarification. The entire question is: Who will be strong in emuna, and who G-d forbid will not be? I cannot stress enough the importance not to be afraid, which is accomplished through connecting to emuna!
[Rabbi Arush didn’t comment on it tonight, but at other times, he has mentioned that hitbodedut – personal prayer – saves us from fear. The source is in this same section – #34 is: “Someone who doesn’t confess his sins is stricken with fear.” Rabbi Arush has said elsewhere that the main aspect of hitbodedut is the spiritual accounting. This is the time when you confess your sins, and especially strengthen your desire to fix those mistakes and beg Hashem to help you in the future. By doing so, you will save yourself from being stricken with fear.
Rabbi Arush also didn’t mention another very simple piece of advice tonight – charity saves from death. Before you leave the house, put a quarter or a shekel into your tzedaka box. If you don’t have one from Chut shel Chessed, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will (hopefully be able with the situation) to send you one (as soon as we can). In the meantime, you can always designate one you have in the house for charity to go towards a donation to Emuna Outreach at the Yeshiva. This covers both items – “charity saves from death” and the importance of spreading emuna, which Rabbi Arush did comment on tonight.]