First Things: Coronavirus Shabbat by Cole S. Aronson
The Talmud says that you should violate the Sabbath to save a life so that whoever you save will keep many Sabbaths. Our raison d’être is the work we do on this earth. God did not give us his holidays, his sacrifices and laws of purity and agriculture, his rules of commerce and charity and personal conduct, so we could rack up points to be cashed in upon entry into the next world. He put us here, as it were, to till the garden and work it, so that he could make of us a great nation and bless all the earth through the chosen children of Abraham. The Mishnah in Tractate Avot teaches that one hour of repentance and performing commandments on this earth is dearer than all the world to come.The chosen children of Abraham? Or the chosen One, the Messiah?
The standing policy of the Jewish state is that there should not be fewer Jews. A state would only have this policy if the state were really a family. Already we’ve lost Holocaust survivors to this virus. Should we lose more of them?
So can other people have this ethnonationalism too?
There is another principle in Jewish thought—whoever saves a single life, it is as if he has saved the whole world.Does this apply to all equally? Or are some more equal than others?
Israelis are praying and loving and studying at home, the true center of Jewish life. “How goodly are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, oh Israel?”
The home may be an important center of religious life. But what of the Temple? What rationalizations are given for there not being a Temple? Whose fault is it?
1 John 2:22-23:
22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.