Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim
Disease displaying identical symptoms in all victims teaches that all humans share the identical biology. Doctors seek a single cure for the virus, as they understand that all humans will respond identically, just as we responded identically in infection.
But God also created our souls, and here too, we are identical. The fallacy of multiple religions is based on this very point, that what harms and heals one human, affects others identically. Religion is no different from biology. Identical humans—which we all are—will benefit equally from a single religion. We are not born “Christian,” Muslim” or “Jewish.” We are born “human.” We have no beliefs at birth, nor are we “better suited” to our parents’ religion than our friend’s parents’ religion. Our identical psychological natures and our identical capacity to distinguish falsehood from truth leads to one conclusion: what is true or false for one is true or false for all. To suggest that religion “A” is better for John, while religion “B” is better for Mary, contradicts the reality of human equality.
How do we determine which religion is best for mankind? We need not make this determination, as God already determined this for us. History confirms that God revealed no religion other than Judaism, His Bible. Every other religion is man-made founded on blind faith; they all are mere beliefs, not based on witnessed events like Judaism. No religion other than Judaism proves its claim of divine origin. No religion claims that its masses witnessed miracles. The world accepts the Biblical account 3333 years ago when God spoke upon Mt. Sinai from amidst an inferno, giving His Bible to millions of Jews. Those Israelite witnesses then transmitted this event to the world, and every generation accepted this mass testimony. It is impossible that masses will conspire to a fabrication, and unanimously abandon their true history and teach their children lies. Had Revelation on Sinai never occurred, Moses would fail at spreading such a story; not a single Jew would accept Moses’ baseless claims and reject their firsthand knowledge of their affairs on that date. Moses couldn’t convince the Jews that they witnessed such amazing events, and the story of Revelation at Sinai would never commence. Had Revelation on Sinai never occurred, the world would not possess this story today. But as we do possess it, like any history witnessed by masses, Revelation at Sinai’s world acceptance proves its truth: God gave His religion to man only once. Based on mass witnesses as the only proof of history, we reject all other religions as they all are bereft of any claim of masses witnessing miracles. They only offer blind faith.
God never gave any other religion, nor spoke to any other masses of people.
This is how God determined the only religion He intends for man.
Now, knowing that the Bible is God’s only communication of a religion, we read what is a sin and what is not. But for which sin(s) does Coronavirus punish? Without divine knowledge, we cannot know for certain. But we do know our own sins and for those we must repent at once. This is the only way to end this plague.
We also know the Bible’s capital crimes, and its gravest sin is idolatry: trading the true God for a false one. Mankind must repent from the most severe sins first. The Jews and other nations were killed because of the sin of idolatry on many occasions. Today, the Biblical capital crime of deifying man (idolatry) runs worldwide, like this pandemic. And it is reasonable that when God punishes on a global scale, the sin is global. Mankind must abandon baseless idolatrous beliefs and from praying to a man, and instead, follow the only religion with proof of Divine Origin.
When else did God punish man? He did so during the Flood, during the second Temple, and God killed Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students. In all 3 cases, man’s sin was animosity towards others. The prophets too warned against acting unjustly towards the needy.
“Perhaps also, one serious sin of the Jews is our failure to fulfill God’s mission for us: to share the Torah with the world. Baseless feelings of Jewish superiority might cause many Jews to not share Torah. Keeping Torah to oneself, one deludes himself with a sinful false self-esteem.
And as teaching the world God’s will is predicated on our possession of Torah knowledge, we must make Torah study our primary focus.”
These two areas of sin—against God and against man—are the precise 2 categories of the Ten Commandments, the foundation of all Biblical commands. We violate the first category by accepting false religions, praying to man and idols, believing in horoscopes, omens, amulets and signs, and attempting to consult the dead or praying to the dead. In other words, accepting powers or forces other than God is idolatrous. We violate the second category of sinning against others through egocentricity, lies, gossip, slander, crooked business practices, failing to give charity, disrespecting parents, teachers, leaders, and others, and most severely in religious zealots harming infidels. Other prevalent sins include being consumed with the pursuit of wealth and fame, infidelity, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality and bestiality. These are not only harmful in themselves, but they obscure God and our fellow man.
We each must reflect wherein we sin, with a sustained introspective effort. Understanding the real harm in our ways is the only method to abandoning our sins. We must do so now to stem this ravaging virus.
Rabbi Saul Zucker mentioned how one Jewish man Jonah, warned the great gentile city of Ninveh of imminent doom. The city recognized their sins, and repented, which averted God’s decree. God too told Abraham that five cities would be spared destruction if 10 righteous people would be found who could influence the sinners to repent and correct their evil lives. One person or just a handful of people can save society. As Jews—the teachers of God’s only religion—we must take this lesson to heart and discover our sins and repent. We must then communicate these lessons to all mankind. We are one race and we must show equal care for every member. Praying to God to remove the virus is warranted. But to do so without removing the cause of the virus—our sins—we would fail. Let us not view the virus as natural. Doing so will cause God to worsen the pandemic. The Bible says this: “But walk arbitrarily (dismiss) Me, then I will (also) walk arbitrarily with you in fury.” That is to say, “When I will bring upon you troubles — if you will say that it is mere nature and not a sign from God, I will increase the fury of this arbitrariness” (Lev. 26: 27-28).
Perhaps also, one serious sin of the Jews is our failure to fulfill God’s mission for us: to share the Torah with the world. Baseless feelings of Jewish superiority might cause many Jews to not share Torah. Keeping Torah to oneself, one deludes himself with a sinful false self-esteem.
And as teaching the world God’s will is predicated on our possession of Torah knowledge, we must make Torah study our primary focus.