• Dr. Barry Lynn

Yom Kippur: How is COVID-19 Like Evil Speech?


Illustration: Praying in the Synagogue (Image credit: Wix)

Strong low pressure will move southward to the east of Italy and westward of Crete, before moving into western Turkey. The strong counterclockwise circulation around the storm will draw unusually hot air northward on the eastern side of the storm.

This means that temperatures will rise into the low and mid 30s Celsius (80s to 90s Fahrenheit) across most of Israel as we move from Erev Yom Kippur into Yom Kippur itself. This will make for difficult if not dangerous conditions for those fasting during the Day of Repentance.

The hot weather will last into Tuesday, before a strong cooling trend sets in behind the storm. Temperatures at upper levels will substantially decrease, which means that we may be moving into a period of localized showers as we head into October.

Yom Kippur is a time for repentance, but how many people really think that they have to repent or even change their ways? Yet, a moment reflection might show each of us that yes, we do need to atone for at least something. My wife says that the coronavirus is like lashon hara (evil speech) — once it's out, it stays out; it spreads through carefulness; and it does great damage.

When there is a terror attack, we have many "opportunities" to read about the person who was killed and to mourn their passing. With coronavirus, for some reason, the authorities have decided to hide the names and faces of those who have passed away — perhaps out of their embarrassment for themselves and for us, for being so careless with other people's lives that we do not wear masks and socially distance ourselves.

I hope that the New Year will lead us to watch not only what we say, but whom we might infect and to take care that we speak no evil of others and do no evil to them.

[Please note: Dr. Lynn's complete and accurate weather forecast can be found here. Editor]

Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.

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בס"ד

...הָרִימִי בַכֹּחַ קוֹלֵךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָרִימִי אַל תִּירָאִי אִמְרִי לְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה הִנֵּה אֱלֹקֵיכֶם! (ישעיה  מ:ט)

...Raise your voice with strength, herald of Jerusalem; raise it, do not be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your G-d!"

(Isaiah 40:9)

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