The death toll in China from the coronavirus passed 1,000 on Monday as another 108 people died. There were 2,478 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 42,638. Two deaths were recorded outside mainland China: one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines. At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and many travel restrictions are in effect.
Though the death rate is rather low, 3% of those infected, the spread of the virus is alarming. On January 21, 309 cases were reported. In three weeks, there are now over 130 times the cases.
CHINA AS THE “WILDERNESS OF SIN”
Torah blogger Yeranen Yaakov noted that in the Torah portion of Beshalach (Exodus 13:17–17:16) read by Jews around the world last Shabbat, there is a clear reference to the coronavirus. The Bible tells of the Children of Israel “arriving at the wilderness of Sin.”
Setting out from Elim, the whole Israelite community came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. Exodus 16:1
In modern Hebrew, Sin (סין: pronounced ‘seen’) is China. Yeranen Yaakov noted that in Gematria (Hebrew numerology), corona (קורונה) equals 367. Using a method of gematria that adds one to the sum (referred to as adding the kollel), the term for the wilderness of Sin (מדבר סין) equals 367.
It is also interesting to note that המשיח בא ( Moshiach ba: the ‘Messiah comes’) also equals 367 with the kollel.
Yeranen Yaakov suggested the connection by suggesting that “China is a spiritual desert.”
The blogger also noted that Hebrew numerology connects the coronavirus to the Noahide prohibition against eating limbs from living animals. In gematria (Hebrew numerology), קורונה (corona) is 100+6+200+6+50+5=367. The term for the prohibition against eating the limb of a living creature (אכל אבר מן החי) is also equal to 367 (1+20+30+1+2+200+40+50+5+8+10).
This does seem relevant as some experts claim that the virus originated in the ‘wet market’ in the Wuhan province. Scientists point to the human consumption of bats which are a delicacy in several parts of the world, often cooked in soup while still alive.
Another hint was revealed in the commentary on Exodus by Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the medieval commentator known by the acronym Rashi.
Do not eat any of it raw, or cooked in any way with water, but roasted—head, legs, and entrails—over the fire. Exodus 12:9
The verse described the preparation of the Passover offering that was eaten by the Hebrews in Egypt. Rashi’s commentary explained that “not raw” meant “שאינו צלוי כל צורכו קוראו נא בלשון” ערבי” (“that is not roasted as needed, what is called in Arabic ‘na’). The words קוראו נא (kar’oo na) can be read as ‘corona.’
Rabbi Mattityahu Glazerson, an expert in Torah codes who has written over 30 books on the subject, discovered hints at the modern plague. Using a computer program to connect letters through set intervals, Rabbi Glazereson found hints that point to the coronavirus in the 20th chapter of Leviticus.
In his video, Rabbi Glazerson explains how the words corona (קורונה), virus (וירוסת), Chinese (סיני), and eating from a living creature (אבר מן החי ever min hachai), are all intertwined in that chapter. Perhaps even more surprising is the series of Hebrew letters designating this year 5780 (תשפ-ה).
“EVEN MORE DIFFICULT DISEASE WILL COME INTO THE WORLD”
In a speech given in 2015, Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, an Israeli mystic known for his accurate predictions, stated that “China will suffer the worst of the diseases.”
“More than 100,000 people will die. This will be a prelude to even greater troubles, endless misfortunes, for China. Even though many financial experts are predicting that China will rule the world economically, China will go bankrupt. China is only rising up in order to fall down. This will be to show people that the real source of blessings in the world is Israel.”
In a speech given last week, the rabbi predicted, “The coronavirus will continue to spread and there will be even more difficult diseases that will come into the world. These troubles will continue until the other nations stop bothering Israel and until the very last Jew comes to Israel.”
SANHEDRIN: WARNS CHINA, CALLS FOR DAY OF FASTING AND PRAYER
The Sanhedrin’s Organization of 70 Nations came out with an official statement concerning the virus:
To the Honorable and Respected Leaders and People of China:
We empathize with your great agony and loss dues to the horrific disease that is plaguing your nation. We are praying for your redemption and acknowledge that the affliction has put a great shadow on your people and that shadow is now passing out into the world. This is a modern-day plague of the kind that befell Egypt.
We extend our hand in brotherhood and suggest that there is a means that can prevent more serious harm from coming out of this plague.
In our tradition, there is no punishment without a sin that allows it to come into the world. According to our traditions, after the Flood of Noah, the Creator of the world made a covenant with the sons of Noah that would allow humanity to start afresh in the proper manner. All nations became committed by this agreement and the laws included in this covenant.
It is through these basic laws that your nation and all of humanity can be saved from this horrible disease; through this covenant that creates moral and healthy boundaries as described in the Bible.
It is towards this end, the redemption of all humanity through returning to the Noahide covenant with the God of the Bible, that we established the Seventy Nations Organization. This organization is open to all nations. We invite you to you read the foundational principles and consider joining this organization by signing our Scroll of Seventy Nations. As its name implies, the organization is intended to bring together all nations and as such, your participation as a unique and ancient nation is necessary to us. We would be honored if you choose to join us and all people in solidarity with the Creator.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss
The Seventy Nations Organization Jerusalem Israel
Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, the head of the Sanhedrin’s Noahide Court, called for a day of prayer in which people from around the world will come together to ask God to heal those afflicted. The prayers would also call upon God to have mercy on the people of China. Rabbi Schwartz suggested that those who are physically able to fast should do so.
The day of prayer is set for the first day of the Hebrew month of Adar which begins at sundown on February 25.