by Rabbi Uri Lesser

Over the past number of weeks, many different thoughts have come to my mind.  These thoughts and reflections have changed from time to time as the days and weeks pass by. Sometimes I have thoughts of sadness, and sometimes thoughts of hope. It is really hard not to have both of them when thinking about all the people around you and in the world.

Thoughts of sadness come when we play the numbers game, and every day we get updated on “how many this” and “how many that.”  Firstly, because the sheer number of people effected is truly staggering.  Multiply this number by family members and friends who have lost their loved ones and the number of grieving people in the world is hard to comprehend.  But more than this, the fact that we have turned human beings into numbers and statistics is also a point of sadness. Every person lost was special and unique, and taking away their individuality is also important to reflect upon.

Thoughts of hope come when I see my fellow co-workers in full protective gear, on the front lines, protecting, helping, and saving lives of people that they may not know very well or maybe not at all.  When someone literally steps into the face of danger, into the lion’s den, to help and heal another human being…. WOW! What an awesome display of mankind in this world. This is the man that was created in the image of God, the person whose life revolves around good for others, the creation which brings glory and joy to the world.

So who wins? Sadness or hope? Which thought will overcome and decide what type of day or week I will have?

I think we all know the answer. To sit back and let sadness and despair control our lives won’t make the world a better place. There is a place to cry and grieve during these times, but we can’t let it control us. We need hope to control us. We need to look around at people who are giving to others. We need to look at ourselves who are giving to others. 

When we realize that for every person who is or has been sick there are tens of people giving every last bit of energy to help them, we can taste the power of hope, kindness and beauty in this world we live in.

It is my hope and prayer that all those stricken with this terrible disease have a speedy recovery. But just as important, those who are out there making the world a better place, should not only be protected as well but realize how they are the ones who are actively healing the world.

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