Colors: Yellow Color

This past week, a skit on Saturday Night Live (SNL) caused a storm in the Jewish world. Michael Che Campbell, a stand-up comedian, actor, and writer on the show, said the following (as part of his skit): “Half the folks in Israel have already gotten the COVID vaccine. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” Many Jewish groups immediately screamed “anti-Semitism!” and have demanded an apology from the producers of SNL and the executives at NBC. In my humble opinion, no apology is necessary. On the contrary! Israel needs to send a “Thank You” card to SNL for publicizing that fact. Yes, Israel takes care of Jews first…and we are very proud of that!

I cannot be quiet any longer. While I will not mention any names of cult members in this article, I have decided that I must write against a few people in the Torah world – some of whom are my friends! – who write, text, Tweet, and post about what they call the “alleged COVID crisis.” To them, this is not a pandemic, but a PLANdemic, designed by wicked people such as Bill Gates, Binyamin Netanyahu, and those who support the New World Order. They refer to anyone who is involved as Amalek and have made videos and posts that anyone who davens with a mask (which they call a face diaper) as worshipping avodah zarah. I am not kidding nor exaggerating. This is exactly what they say, and their little group of cult followers are very vocal in the world of social media. I’m sure this article will be blasted by all these cult members who seem to have nothing better to do all day than spread their ideology of lies, deceit, and nonsense.

Over the years, many people have asked me, “Shmuel, I’d love to live in Israel, but what about my job? What about the kids in school? How do I know I’ll be happy with my new neighborhood? Will I adjust to the different medical system? How will I manage?” To all these questions, I have the same answer: “Hashem speaks Hebrew!” Huh? Let me explain what I mean.

In no way does this article mean to minimize the pain many people have suffered due to COVID-19. It has brought sickness and death to thousands of people. It has caused financial problems, marital problems, and psychological problems. The COVID-19 pandemic is not a laughing matter, and we must all observe the medical guidelines and safety procedures. Recently, a rav I am close with told me how things in his Monsey community have “returned to normal.” He boasted that they have kiddushim and Shalosh Seudos meals together and even “eat from each other’s plates.” Yesterday, he emailed me that he has COVID and asked that I daven for him.

I made aliyah in July 1990, and it took time until Saddam Hussein gave me my “Welcome to Israel” present. Six months after my arrival, the Iraqi meshugana fired 39 Scud missiles into Israel. Sirens went off and, like all other Israelis, my family and I sat in our sealed rooms, hoping and davening that we would be okay. When we heard the siren, the first thing we had to do was to put on our masks – big, bulky, and scary looking ones! Israel’s security services were worried that Saddam had armed the missiles with chemical warheads, so every citizen, resident, and tourist was given a gas mask. We went everywhere with them, because we never knew when this evil person would press the “fire” button. That was life back in early 1991.