Yael's Holy Land Reflections


March 11, 2020


Wherever I turn these days, people are talking about the Covid-19 virus that is sweeping through the world. Essential products and products designed to protect against germs and viruses are disappearing from shelves, and travel plans are being canceled. There is a general sense of fear and uncertainty in the air.

Here in Israel, our government has taken stricter preventative measures than most. As a country with a population just over 9.1 million (or to give some context approximately the same number of people in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan), we must exercise an abundance of caution. Tens of thousands have been ordered to self-quarantine, large gatherings are not allowed, flights from particular countries have been banned, and travel abroad has been discouraged. We are doing everything possible, from teaching our children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, to working tirelessly on a vaccine in order to halt the spread of the disease. Israel is at the forefront of medical innovation, and always shares their knowledge with the world for the good of all.

He Will Save You

However, as people of faith, we know that salvation does not come from physical means alone. We know that God is in control and has the world in the palm of His hand. We do our best to ensure our safety and the safety of others, but then we turn to God in prayer. He has protected us from harm many times before and He can shield us now. As we read in Psalm 91, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty… Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”

This is a time to call on our faith, to let go of fear, and to lead by example. It is a time to pray for protection, for those that are ill, and for an end to this disease. It is a time for kindness towards those who need help coping with this situation and towards anyone who could use some loving care. It is a time for us all to come together in the spirit of faith and unity. Just as we have weathered other storms together, we will get through this one, spreading the light of God in the process.

Our Inter-Connected World

Covid-19 has demonstrated the undeniable inter-connectedness of humanity. What happens on one side of the world has a significant impact on the other. A disease that broke out in a town in China has had fast and wide-reaching impacts throughout the world from health, the economy, and even daily activities in life.

As people of faith, we must see the spiritual meaning in current events and use our inter-connectivity as a force for good and healing. Our prayers and acts of kindness have a profound effect on the entire world.

In the Jewish tradition, we recite Psalm 91 for protection and Psalms 20, 30, 121, 130, and 142 for healing. But, whatever prayers you choose, I hope that you will join me as we ask our Father in Heaven, the One true Healer, to bring health and healing to all people. I know that as God hears our prayers for each other, He will answer our prayers with healing, protection, and blessings. May it be soon!

With blessings from the Holy Land,

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Yael Eckstein

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