Thursday, February 27, 2020

Corona in the Torah

Latest development:

Corona has been detected in the Torah!

The mystery has been solved at last. Corona's origin has been discovered, in an etymological sense at least.
It's right there in Exodus 34:29 --  When Moses descended from the mountain, he "did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant -- כי קרן עור פניו..."
Moses did not know that his face was CoRaN, radiating light.

It spread quickly to verse 30 and 35. Three incidents!

This ancient Biblical Hebrew root is undoubtedly the source of the Latin word "corona," which eventually became "crown" in English. QaRaN can also mean horn, and is the likely origin of a host of other English words like cornice, corner, cornucopia, cranium, cornea, and unicorn.

The contemporary Coronavirus has a series of crown-like spikes or horns on its surface, which is the reason for the name.

Moses had crown-like rays of light emanating from the skin of his face. Like its modern-day namesake, his unusual corona caused much fear, and everyone was afraid to approach him (ibid 30).

Fortunately, Moses did not need to be quarantined. Instead, he covered his face with a mask! (ibid 33)

The mask wasn't meant for protection, since Moses' corona wasn't contagious, but rather for modesty purposes.

Moses was careful to remove his mask when teaching Torah to Israel. There can be no barriers when it's time to learn Torah.

Parenthetically, Moses' corona has been subject to much misinterpretation over the ages. Michelangelo read a faulty Latin translation of the Torah that rendered "QoRaN" as horns, and consequently depicted horns atop Moses' head on his famous stature in the Basilica. While the root QeReN can indeed mean horn, our verses in Exodus clearly use the verb form that indicates radiating light. QeReN often means ray in noun form too, as in קרני אור, rays of light. Even the sun has a corona. Too bad no one with any Hebraic literacy was around to advise Michelangelo.

QoRaN can also denote radiating power. Three times daily, we petition G-d to cause the QeReN (power) of redemption to flourish, and to exalt the QeReN (power) of Moshiach.

Corona is a word that expresses radiance, power, and salvation.

Takeaway lesson of Moses' original Corona is: take off that mask and come to shul to bask in the radiance and power of Torah study.

By the way, did you know that Corona has also been detected in the Mishna too?

"One should only stand up to pray with a heavy (i.e. serious and focused) head -- אין עומדים להתפלל אלא מתוך כובד ראש"  (Berakhot 30b). "Heavy head" is pronounced "COVID rosh" in Hebrew [and COVID 19 reminds us that this shabbat, we'll read Parshat Terumah, the 19th portion of the Torah!]

So there you have it, folks.

The best way to be prepared for Corona is by feeling empowered and coming to Shul this Shabbat, praying with COVID rosh, learning the 19th parsha of the Torah and unmasking the deep radiant secrets contained therein.

(And if you really insist on a Mosaic face-mask, feel free to wear one next week on Purim).

Anyway folks, I hope you appreciated this important Corona update.

By increasing in Torah study, prayer, acts of goodness and kindness, may we merit to CoRoNate king Moshiach in the most immediate future. Amen.
PS: Didn't mean to make "light" of a serious subject.
I suppose this virus might indeed deserve a bit more KOVID rosh

Monday, February 3, 2020

Be the Rebbe's Voice

The Rebbe needs a voice. Would you please be the Rebbe's voice?
As we prepare to celebrate 70 years since the Rebbe's leadership, it's important to reflect on his highest priority: the inalienable right of every Jewish child to a Torah-true education.

Undoubtedly, if he were here today and able to communicate, heads would be rolling. Yeshivos and Talmud Torahs banning Jewish children is an unprecedented assault on Am Yisrael. There's not a shred of doubt in my mind that he'd be livid and would incessantly demand that this deplorable situation be remedied at once. He'd oppose the intolerable "mandatory vaccine policy" -- that effectively bars children from school with no exemption or recourse -- with every fiber of his holy being.

Never before has the absence of his holy voice and clarity been so sorely felt. Never before has our people dealt with such appalling lack of rabbinic leadership as we are presently experiencing.
Where is the Rebbe when we need him most?
Who will stand up for the chlldren if not he?

Who will insist on chinuch al taharas hakodesh for every single Jewish child when some of his most vocal followers have betrayed his calling?
Where are the Chabad rabbanim, mashpiim, and famous speakers? 
Why have they dropped the ball on Jewish children?
Why the silence?
How long can this madness continue?
How will Klal Yisrael survive this insidious onslaught without the voice of reason from our faithful shepherd of seventy years?
"And Aharon your brother will be your spokesperson -- ואהרן אחיך יהיה נביאך." *
We -- you and I -- shall be the Rebbe's mouthpiece. We must speak on his behalf.
And if we do, his voice will be heard. And reason will prevail.
On this awesome occasion of 70 years, let's celebrate the Rebbe's leadership by being his voice. Today.
Do it for the children. Do it for the future of Klal Yisroel.
Don't betray the Rebbe's legacy by remaining silent at this crucial time.
Speak up now.
To my family of chassidim and shluchim worldwide:
Remember Mordechai Hayehudi's fateful words:
"כי אם החרש תחרישי בעת הזאת -- For if you will remain silent at this time,
רוח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר -- relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source,
ואת ובית אביך תאבדו -- and you and the house of your father will be lost.
ומי יודע אם לעת כזאת הגעת למלכובעת כזאת -- And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.” **

My brothers and sisters: who shall be the Rebbe’s voice -- who shall be the source of relief and salvation -- who else if not we?
Who will speak for the Mordechai Hayehudi of our generation if not we?
If you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will surely come. Hashem has many emissaries, but you will lose this awesome zechus.
And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position of being the Rebbe’s shliach! Do not betray your position. You represent royalty.
Please speak up now.
Happy Yud Shevat. Be the Rebbe’s voice. Today.
Thank you.
With blessing for immediate relief, salvation, and geulah,
Michoel Green
PS a pundit reading this might counter: "How do you have the chutzpa to assume you know what the Rebbe would be saying today?" My answer: "It's not even a question. Go read his igros and sichos of 42 years." Pundit: "But maybe this time, things are different." Me: "When in doubt, err on the side of Jewish children learning Torah."
* Ex 7:1. See Sicha of 3 Shevat 5752.
** Esther 4:14.