It has been three days since I first heard the word "Swine Flu". People are ill all over the world and some have died. Today it was confirmed that one Israeli has the disease and is being treated in a Netanya hospital. One other man, here in my town of Kfar Saba, is now in the hospital being tested. Both men were in Mexico last week on business. Thanks to G-d they are both expected to survive.
As I listened to the reports of this illness spreading so quickly around the globe, I quickly became fearful for myself and my children. Then I remembered something I read once in the excellent newsletter of Ana Brett and Ravi Singh. Ana and Ravi teach Kundalini Yoga, a very special and spiritual form of yoga. I highly recommend their DVD's, informative newsletter and website http://www.raviana.com/.
On to the story:
A Yogi was sitting under a tree near a road. Thousands of people were traveling on the road to a celebration at a religious shrine in a town a few miles away. The yogi noticed someone who his intuition told him was not quite human.
"Excuse me" he said "Who are you? What is your story?"
"I'm Cholera" the gnarled man said "and I'm on a mission. I've been ordered to proceed to this town and claim 50 lives."
"I understand that tragedies are a part of life" the yogi replied "but is there anything I can do to prevent this?"
Cholera just shrugged, said "Take it up with the Boss" and kept walking towards the town.
A month later the Yogi was helping to burn bodies in the town where a cholera epidemic had recently claimed 200 lives. Suddenly he saw Cholera himself!
"Hey!" the yogi called out. "You told me that 50 people were supposed to die, but it turned out to be 200! Maybe you are enjoying your work a little too much?"
Cholera sadly replied "Actually, because of your prayers, meditation and efforts to educate people about proper sanitation, the number went down to 10. Everyone else succumbed to their own fears."
May we all move forward on this day, Yom HaZikaron 5769 (Memorial Day 2009), with Faith and Strength. With Prayer, Meditation and Education we can win out over Fear.