By Chanita Teitz

 

All the news recently, whether in newspapers, TV or social media, is about the coronavirus. Not only are some in a panic, but we are at a standstill, not knowing which way this will end or when. In today’s international atmosphere, people travel and bring every type of “bug” back with them. It has long been known that airplane travel is a perfect breeding ground for catching something. Considering the stale recirculating air and close proximity to people for hours at a time, germs are inevitable. A lot of people say that they get sick whenever they travel. So what’s the difference now and why are we so nervous about this virus? It’s been suggested that coronavirus isn’t much worse than the flu. There have been flu epidemics before, so why such panic now?

The elderly and anyone with an underlying medical condition should be extra-cautious. If only a vaccine were readily available, we could all get some protection. Imagine if the vaccine was to become available — there would be a stampede to get it, and unless they produce enough, it will surely run out before everyone gets injected. Will we protect the elderly and sick first or decide that it isn’t worth spending money on the elderly and sick?

Then there are those who say that the virus is just a means of “natural selection,” or survival of the fittest. It is weeding out the weakest among us. Someone said that about the Jews being killed in the Holocaust: it’s just natural selection, weeding out the inferior among the population. I think I read that Hitler actually said that.

There are different theories about where this came from. Is China trying to ruin the world’s economy? Are the Democrats trying to blame the Republicans? Crazy, mixed-up world … and all happening before Purim. Hashem must set the world straight again, protect us from disease, and protect us from our enemies.

Do you remember after 9/11 when the bridges and tunnels were closed and air travel was suspended? Now we have airports that may be shut down, flights canceled, people in quarantine at home, and others in quarantine in foreign countries. Is there better proof that we are not in control? Hashem is orchestrating this. What is the message?

 

Rabbi Shneur Guetta Uplifts Forest Hills Community

Rabbi Shneur GuettaOn Sunday evening, February 16, Beth Gavriel Community Center entertained a packed audience for Rabbi Shneur Guetta. In a Hebrew lecture presented in conjunction with the Chazaq Organization and Hidabroot, the rav brought life to the concept of our daily existence not being a game but each of us having the ability to gain the most from every day because the ball is truly in our hands. The rav was introduced by Rabbi Mordechai Levy, a well-known speaker for Hidabroot. This was the rabbanim’s first major Queens appearance and they enjoyed an overwhelming response from the community.

Upcoming Events

Scholars-in-Residence Shabbos, March 13 and 14 at the Queens Jewish Center, 66-05 108th St., Forest Hills. Featuring Rabbi Ezra and Dr. Rivka Schwartz. Rabbi Schwartz is rosh yeshiva and associate director of semikha at YU-RIETS, and served for 10 years as rabbi of Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights. Dr. Schwartz is associate principal at SAR High School, co-director of its Machon Siach, and a research fellow at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.

  • March 13—8 p.m. Friday-night dinner. Rabbi Schwartz will speak on “Intriguing Cases of Pikuach Nefesh on Shabbos.” Dr. Schwartz will speak about: “Kochi V’Otzem Yadi: Power, Privilege & Perspective.”
  • March 14—9 a.m. minyan. Derashah by Rabbi Schwartz. A hot Kiddush will follow davening.
  • 5:20 p.m.: pre-Minchah shiur by Rabbi Schwartz on “Contemporary Kashrus Questions You Never Thought Of”
  • 6:10 p.m.: Minchah followed by shalosh seudos. Dr. Rivka Schwartz will speak about “Choosing to be Obligated. The Challenges of Observance in the Contemporary World”
  • Friday-night dinner cost: Adults. $30 for members, $35 for not-yet-members; children 12 and under, half price. Sponsors: over $50 (includes 1 meal), over $75 (includes two meals). RSVP: call office at 718-459-8432 or visit MyQJC.org/event/SIR-Schwartz

Shiur HaChodesh for Women by Women, Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Etz Chaim, 147-19 73rd Ave. Presented by Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills. The speaker will be Dr. Michelle Levine, assistant professor of Bible at Stern College, who will give a shiur: “Joseph’s Colored Dreamcoat: The Backstory To The Egyptian Exile.” Suggested donation: $6.

Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or email chanita@astorbrokerage.com.

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