In Judaism there is a concept of a Sabbatical year: a shemitta year, when the agricultural land in Israel is given a rest in the seventh year of it's seven year cycle in order to increase its fertility and productivity after that. This is a very powerful commandment which even seems counterintuitive because the Torah promises that those farmers who observe the laws of shemitta carefully will be blessed with their land yielding enough produce for three years (in the sixth year before the shemitta begins). It is a time when farmers demonstrate their trust in G-d Almighty and they see miracles. It makes no sense that in the sixth year when the land is at its lowest level of fertility that it should yield enough for three years….but this is how the Almighty vindicates a person’s trust.
In a way, the coronavirus is bringing about a sabbatical like status in the world now. Cars are not in the streets so much. Industry has been on hold. The air is getting a much needed rest and is cleaner than usual. The ocean is clean as people are told to keep off the beaches in many places. Families are relaxed and spending time together, rather than working non stop and having no time for each other. The world is being rebooted so to speak. We are rediscovering our relationships, our families, our values, our morals, our priorities…..and nobody really wants the world to go back to the “norm” we knew it before the virus. Everyone wants change for the better. Everyone wants a new “norm”.
The financial situation is collapsing but even that is for the ultimate good. People need to rethink the way society is run. It can no longer be a predominately capitalistic society where the rich prosper and the poor get poorer and the middle class kind of disappears. That is not a healthy or balanced society.
We need to incorporate socialist ideas in terms of medical care, fair housing prices, and looking at making society more livable and happier for everyone, not just the elite. To do that we need political reforms. We need people willing to think out of the box, admit mistakes and push for healthy changes.
So let us spend time praying that we should usher in the Messianic era when the world will reach its true perfection. We do not want to go back to society as it was. We need positive change. We need a healthier society, a holier world and proper values.