There is a terrifying irony, then, that we are distracted at this moment by a virus that is called Ebola, named after – of all things – a river, in Zaire.
In our tradition, water isn’t supposed to be a source of death. Water isn’t supposed to be a source of suffering. Water isn’t supposed to be a source of fear.
And so…we have a job to do as we set off on the path toward this New Year.
Our job is to retain our sanity and to remind ourselves that the world isn’t going to end, contrary to cable news reports.
Our job is to remember that the word mikveh is a sibling of the Hebrew word tikvah…hope. Let us not give up hope that a cure will be found. Let us not give up hope that our equilibrium has been permanently snatched from us. Let us not give up hope that a mild fever can once again be just a mild fever.
Most of all, our job remains as it always has been: to trust our civic leaders and our medical professionals – the finest in the world, by metaphorically stepping back and giving them the space to do their jobs, while we sit here….in synagogue…doing our’s….by offering up heartfelt prayers…to the One who hears prayer….and to the gifted souls who tend to the ill and suffering….sending them gratitude, and strength, and tikvah – the trust and hope that our world will be free of this illness, and all illness….speedily and in our day…and let us say Amein.
We sing the Mi Shebeirach together…..