My brother, who lived too young a life, and died at 55, was named Nahum.
He knew well that there was a great Rabbinic sage called Nahum, teacher of Rabbi Akiva, who looked on the bright side of life, assuming the name “Nahum Ish Gam Zu LeTova”:
“This too shall be for the good”.
And so it is these days before Spring 2020.
International travel to and from Israel has ground to a halt, with people confined to their homes, yet causing at least three unintended good consequences.
Firstly, although you no one can go abroad this Spring and Summer,
people who live in Israel can now make plans to see the contours of the land and wander the hills, streams, woodlands and towns of Israel. People who live in Israel who had never taken the opportunity to visit inside Israel can now spur a revolution of “internal tourism”, which provide a sudden boon for the tourism industry in the country.
Tour guides who had made their living showing around visitors from abroad can now focus their energies on fellow citizens – to help their own neighbors see the wonders of the country.
Secondly, since people from abroad cannot visit the Land-locked Holy Land at this time, the wonders of social media allows you to hire people in Israel to address them with the camera rolling, at any location, with the ultimate back drop.
People abroad can book “virtual tours” to every location in Israel, from the comfort in their living room, as they put their feet up and imagine themselves traversing Massada, the Judean desert, the Western Wall or Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem, the cobble stone paths of Tzfat, or anywhere you would like your virtual host to take you.
Thirdly, with so many families confined to their homes, one does not have to be a rocket scientist to calculate that nine months from now, Jews will celebrate the miracle of Chanuka.
This year, the Festival of Lights may witness a surge of children conceived during the Corona siege.
Gam Zu Letova, no?