By Rabbi Yossel Kranz
Israel is currently administering a third COVID booster shot to millions of citizens over the age of 50, and to those considered immuno-compromised.
It seems that protection from the vaccine doesn’t last forever.
“As below, so above.” The Chassidic masters teach that from everything below, from the physical, we can understand the spiritual.
Indeed, this whole business of vaccines and boosters is what the High Holidays are all about.
Every year on Rosh Hashanah Jews everywhere flock to a spiritual vaccination center, or Synagogue, to immunize their soul against whatever spiritual viruses the New Year may bring.
Sound of the Shofar
The sound of the Shofar pierces our heart, and fills us with antibodies to ward off arrogance, hate, slander, and a whole list of toxic traits foreign to the soul.
Spiritually too it’s a two-shot vaccine, requiring a second dose a week later on Yom Kippur.
But there are variants. Every year and every situation produces its own moral challenge. Consequently, the season is rounded off with a highly recommended Sukkot/Simchat Torah Booster.
Sitting in a Sukkah under the stars and dancing with our children around the Bima fills us with a joy and gratitude that eradicates all traces of venom that still linger.
High Holiday Vaccine
Time will tell whether the COVID vaccine, like the flu, will be needed annually. I can tell you that the High Holiday vaccine for the soul is definitely only good for a year.
Whatever we were inoculated from last year, won’t help for the coming year. Life on earth seems to always find a way to sneak in a new virus. “A virus” by the way, means sins in Yiddish.
Take care of your body. Get vaccinated! But don’t forget your soul. It’s time for our 5782 shots. I promise, it’ll only sting a little.