What I Learned From Coronavirus

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by R. Gil Student

My local community magazine, The Jewish Echo, asked its writers and staff for brief comments about what they learned from the pandemic. Here is my contribution:

In times of crisis, our community unites in overwhelming acts of chessed. We excel at that. We naturally respond to a crisis by looking for opportunities to help others. As beautiful as this is, as much a testimony as it is to the fine character of our community, I already knew this. What I learned from the coronavirus outbreak is the importance of avoiding a crisis from the start. Too much pain was self-inflicted; too many people could have avoided suffering and even death if we all had acted with greater caution (see Moreh Nevuchim 3:12). We cannot blame ourselves in hindsight, but we can change our attitude going forward by taking health warnings more seriously and avoiding dangerous situations more carefully. Even if it was not a Torah commandment, which it is, it would still be common sense. My own unhygienic behavior can cause illness or worse in someone vulnerable. We must change our behavior before causing more damage.

 

Other people’s answers are in the full article here: link

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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