Recently there has been an epidemic outbreak in China called “Coronavirus” which is quickly spreading and which has already killed thousands of people in China. How should a Jew view this? Are we supposed to be happy that “The destruction of the wicked brings joy” (Mishlei 11:1) or should we look at it as “Suffering does not come to the world only for the sake of Yisrael” (Talmud Bavli Yevamos 63a), meaning that we need to strengthen ourselves in some area? And if we do need to strengthen ourselves in some area, what should it be?
Since it is not primarily killing sinners, we cannot apply the rule of “The destruction of the wicked brings joy”. Rather, it is because “Suffering comes to the world only for the sake of Yisrael.”
In the past, when an epidemic would spread, the effects were smaller. Diseases would only spread through a village, or city, or to a nearby country. But in our times, the entire world has tuned into “one small village” where something can spread very quickly throughout the entire world. This is the first major epidemic since the time in which the world has become entirely turned into a “small village” where everyone is mingled with each other, and therefore this epidemic is unique.
It is in the category of “Keser” in the side of the kelipah (impure).
It is called “Corona”, which in Hebrew is spelled קור-נה, a combination of the word kor (קור)and the letters heh (ה)and nun (נ). The word kor means “cold”, implying distance, as opposed to heat, which implies connection. The hebrew letters heh (ה) and nun (נ) are both letters that have no “companion” letter [as opposed to all other letters of the hebrew alphabet, which each have a companion letter], as taught regarding the verse, “They (הן) are a nation that dwells alone.”
This [coronavirus] is therefore a deep revelation that the power of connection found in the world today is not a connection of warmth, but a “cold” kind of connection, the coldness that represents Amalek (as in the verse regarding Amalek, “They met you along the way” (Devarim 25:18)– the words “they met” is “korcha”, from the word kor, cold). This is because the primary form of connection in the world today is not face-to-face, but back-to-back, by sending messages and information through various forms of social media. That is the main level of the generation today, where people all share a “cold” connection with each other.
The root of rectifying this [epidemic of coronavirus] is to become connected with good, purified people each person on his own level, and to have warm connections [with such people whom it is appropriate to connect with]. This is also the secret of Mashiach, who contains the hebrew letters yud and ches, an acronym for the words “yesh cham”, which means “There is warmth”.