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This toO shall pass

03/19/2020 10:18:12 AM


Shalom Lewis, Rabbi Emeritus

It’s an old legend but it possesses new meaning. King Solomon sends out his servant to find a magic ring that makes happy people sad and sad people happy. After a year in fruitless search, the frustrated servant is reluctantly prepared to return to his king empty handed when he stumbles upon a jeweler near the palace gate. He explains to the artisan what he is seeking and is told to return the next day. He does and is handed the magical ring he has long sought. Carved into the gold were the words ‘Gam Zu Yaavor-This too shall pass’.
When life is proceeding flawlessly do not assume permanence. A fumble is inevitable. When life is proceeding miserably do not assume permanence. From the depths there is always ascension. Immersed as we suddenly are in the surreal. The bizarre. The unexpected. The unbelievable. We must look beyond the unnerving moment. This now, is not forever.
Most of us have no memory of World War Two, but evil came perilously close to victory. The post war Communist juggernaut, when the Red Tide swept ominously across Europe and Asia, threatened the planet. Bomb shelters and fear of nuclear annihilation were real. McCarthyism ripping the soul out of American decency. Race riots and assassinations. 9/11. The economic collapse of 2008. We trembled. We quivered. We questioned but we prevailed.
COVID-19 is not The Zombie Apocalypse. It is not The End of the World as We Know It. It is not Armageddon. Let us do what we must. Let us be cautious not hysterical. We will triumph. “Gam Zu Yaavor-This too shall pass.’
Fri, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780