A Corona Wedding – Parshat Ki Tissa
Sports as a Corona Metaphor
The current outbreak of COVID–19, better known as coronavirus, has caused a lot of concern, anxiety and uncertainty. This virus has become the main topic of conversation – even outperforming sports and politics. How we behave on a personal level during this outbreak says more about us than it does about how the governments are handling the crisis. After all, as sports reporter Mike Vacarro writes In response to cancellation of all major American pro and college sporting events, “we are a responsible people. We are a rational nation.”1
We can learn about responding to a bad situation from this weeks parsha. After the people had sinned by celebrating with the Golden Calf, Moshe stood on the side and cried out “those for God, to me!”2 Abarbanel notes that this was not a simple rallying cry. It was actually an attempt to check the pulse of the nation. He wanted to see how many would actually side with the celebration of the Calf or would choose to stand by Moshe.
“If one cannot change a situation that causes his suffering,
he can still choose his attitude.” Viktor Frankl
We were at a wedding earlier this week in the shadow of growing concerns about the spread of corona. In fact, as we were driving to the wedding, the media announced that starting the next today there would be further restrictions and that no gathering of over 100 people would be permitted. This would be the last relatively large wedding for a while. As it is, many friends and family from abroad did not come in for this wedding due to the virus and even many locals cancelled as well. I understand their stance and harbor no ill-feeling towards them. The atmosphere at the wedding could have been somber. It wasn’t. Those who attended created a wedding that was full of dancing, joy and happiness. The corona might limit our movements but it won’t dampen our spirits.
Vacarro continues, “just because we understand sport’s proper place in our world right now doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to feel its loss.” Of course we are concerned. We are sad for those people directed affected by the virus. We are disappointed when weddings are being postponed or held in small family circles. There may even be further restrictions on movement down the line. We aren’t happy about the virus but we should not lose our humanity either.
We have a choice in this now unavoidable situation.3 We can descend into anxiety, depression, OCD and more or we can love, live and enjoy what we can. We may be separated physically but the whole world is closer during this crisis. We are rewriting our individual set of priorities with this new challenge. Perhaps Corona is giving us the opportunity to discover what is really important to us.
Refuah Sheleimah for all those worldwide afflicted by the virus
- Mike Vacarro is a veteran sports reporter. I read his article about the recent closing down of all major league sports in the NY Post Sports section https://nypost.com/2020/03/12/the-day-coronavirus-sent-sports-into-hibernation-has-come/
- Shemot 32:26
- Doctor Viktor Frankl discusses being able to choose an attitudinal path to meaning in dealing with unavoidable suffering. Man’s Search for Meaning (p. 147). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.