Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Holding up the World

The Talmud tells us that the world exists solely in the merit of the breath of Jewish children learning Torah in their rebbe's house ("tinokos shel beis rabban"), "breath that has no sin."[1] 

So this begs the obvious question: 

How is the world existing now? All schools and yeshivot worldwide have been shut down for weeks with no plan of reopening. We are now being told that schools will likely not reopen until September!

This is truly unprecedented. Never before in the annals of Jewish history has the world been completely deprived of the breath of tinokos shel beis rabban... It is inconceivable how the world still exists...

There is only one possible explanation.

Over a year ago, ten thousand innocent Jewish children were unjustly banned from schools across NY (and thousands more in other states) simply because their families' religious beliefs prevented them from complying with mandatory vaccine policy. Draconian laws passed in NY and CA that cemented their fate.

What happened to all these hapless alienated children?

Parents desperately scrambled to find solutions. Some began to vaccinate their children against their better conscience. Some moved out of state while others were able to sneak their children into school unofficially... 

The remainder had no choice but to home-school. Parents had to quit or juggle their jobs to become teachers at their home school. Living rooms became class rooms. Dining room tables became study halls. Melodious sounds of children's voices chanting Torah, mishna, and gemara were heard throughout their homes and (weather-permitting) in their backyards. Some of these families struggled, but many succeeded. Of course, it was challenging to combine siblings of multiple ages in one group, but it was ultimately quite rewarding. Parents confided to me that their children's learning flourished in their new home school setting. Learning independently and b'chavrusa with their siblings and parents, children felt empowered and took ownership of their learning in ways they had never conceived of in their erstwhile schools.

Lo and behold! When all schools shut down last month, the only serious learning (in "beis rabban," i.e. in their actual class room with their peers, or in this case, siblings) that continued unabated was the learning of those children in their home schools.[2]

So that settles it, folks. At this present time, the world is only existing in the merit of the breath of those unvaccinated children, breath that is untainted by sin (or vaccines).

If you know any such families who were alienated and shunned from your communities or schools last year, please pick up the phone and thank them profusely for sustaining the entire universe with their children's uninterrupted studies in these dark times.

These heroic families are a sole source of light, comfort and consolation for Klal Yisroel in such unprecedented societal shutdown.

Tell them how much you appreciate them for single-handedly bearing the weight of the entire world on their shoulders.

Ask them to teach you how to create a successful home school so that your children can also resume exhaling that holy breath of Torah study in their own "beis rabban," i.e. your home.

Seek their guidance and wise counsel. Beg their forgiveness for banning them from school last year (or for standing by silently while they were shunned, banned and humiliated).

Surely they will reply as Joseph did to his brothers: 

"Indeed, you intended evil against me, but God designed it for good, in order to bring about what is at present to keep a great populace alive!" [3] -- "ואתם חשבתם עלי רעה אלקים חשבה לטובה למען עשה כיום הזה להחיות עם רב!"

Befriend them. Learn from their wisdom, experience, devoted and responsible parenting.

Thank G-d for those "anti-vaxxers."

The world currently exists only because of their precious children.

G-d bless their souls.

Don't be כפוי טובה (ungrateful).

Show them some well-deserved appreciation today. 

[1] Shabbos 119b.
[2] "Online learning" isn't called "beis rabban," but perhaps only in a virtual sense. Instead, it is solitary learning. Not enough merit to sustain the world, at least not according to the Talmud.
[3] Genesis 50:19

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