I am not at all worthy of commenting on my Rebbi, shlita, Harav Elya Brudny’s words. However, I would like to offer a perspective that will perhaps help drive home the Rosh Yeshivah’s message.
Mi k’amcha Yisrael. We Yidden remain unmatched in the value we place on human life. We have a myriad of organizations and askanim who are dedicated to all facets of refuah and pikuach nefesh. They help patients find the best care for their illness, provide endless amounts of money, meals, and volunteer help, and advocate in cases of end-of-life issues that come up in hospitals. Last but certainly not least, we have the tireless efforts of our Hatzolah volunteers throughout our communities. Words cannot adequately describe what they have done for us, especially in recent months.
Somehow when it comes to the current epidemic, we see a disconnect. Politics and differing medical opinions aside, it is very difficult to deny that adhering to social distancing measures has had an impact on the spread of COVID-19. We saw this last spring, and we see it in neighborhoods that continue to practice these measures. Very simply put, fewer people died. Why is it that we have become so complacent, as Rav Brudny states? Wouldn’t we do just about anything to prevent the death, chalilah, of even one fellow Jew?
It would seem that fatigue definitely plays a role here. It has been many months of needing to change our lifestyle and habits. It’s one thing to write a big check to a refuah organization or spend a night caring for someone sick. But wearing a mask all the time and avoiding our usual social interactions seems to be just too difficult.
I think that it behooves us to rise to the challenge and do all that we can to prevent people from getting sick. We should all be seeking the advice of the Torah leaders in our respective kehillos and taking the necessary steps to promote the end, b’ezras Hashem, of this mageifah.
Dr. Duvi Klein, Bayswater, N.Y.