Is it possible to look into the Zika virus and see God’s Hand at work? Rabbinic scholar and popular lecturer Rabbi Mendel Kessin thinks so, but cautions, “Only God knows why He does what He does, so you can never speak with certainty.”
There are two theories about possible spiritual messages hidden in the Zika virus. Before presenting them, it’s important to understand a few basic facts about the virus.
The Zika virus, carried by mosquitoes, has been active in Brazil for the past year. Babies born to women infected with the virus are at high risk for microcephaly, a serious birth defect. Babies born with microcephaly have misshapen or missing foreheads. Although there is a range of severity, the severest forms are accompanied by mental retardation and profound motor dysfunction.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization declared the recent uptick in cases of microcephaly in Brazil (estimates range from 2,500-4,000 cases) to be a public health emergency. In December of 2015, The Guardian reported that Cláudio Maierovitch, an official at Brazil’s Ministry of Health, began advising women in Brazil to postpone getting pregnant indefinitely.
In his recent blog post Zika Virus: Is it Judgment?, Bob O’Dell, co-founder of Root-Source, made the case that the Zika virus “is part of God’s judgment.” He suggested that the spiritual message hidden in the Zika virus is God’s punishment for sexual immorality.
Why Brazil? According to O’Dell, it’s because Brazil is “a world leader in adultery. Not only is pornography everywhere on the streets, not only is the television shockingly uncensored, not only is the Brazilian Carnival’s licentiousness making our New Orleans Mardi Gras seem tame, not only is it common in Brazil for men to maintain two families: one public with a wife and one secret one through a mistress, but the truth is that the church in Brazil is struggling with the very same problems.”
Some support for O’Dell’s theory can be found in a video released last week by Bible Codes expert Rabbi Mattityahu Glazerson. In the video, Glazerson found Bible Codes for “virus is coming” and for mosquito, Messiah, 5776, which is the current Hebrew year, and numerous references to sexual sins.
A second theory connects the Zika virus epidemic with Brazil’s history of action against the interests of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. After the Holocaust, Brazil granted asylum to thousands of Nazi war criminals. Last December, Brazil refused to accept Dani Dayan, Israel’s candidate for ambassador to Brazil, because he lives in, and works on behalf of, Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. And just last week, Brazil opened an embassy for the PA, with a structure that resembles the Dome of the Rock. The not-so-veiled message is that Brazil supports the Palestinian goal of separating the Temple Mount from its Jewish and Biblical origins.
Speaking to Breaking Israel News, Rabbi Mendel Kessin affirmed, “There’s clearly a connection. We’re talking about a massive country that has been afflicted with two things: abnormal children and depopulation of the country.”
Citing the necessity for a country to produce a certain amount of children to maintain its population, a national call to ask women to postpone getting pregnant “is a death sentence for Brazil. A country that is anti-Semitic in many ways doesn’t deserve to be a country,” said Kessin.
Kessin further reflected on the possibility that since Brazil’s actions against Israel represent “a distorted, corrupt way of thinking,” Brazil is being punished with children born with mental retardation and other intellectual deficits.
“This is my interpretation. When God metes out justice to an entire nation, we don’t always know why. Once it’s a national calamity, a person must lift his head and ask, ‘What’s happening?’
“Am I certain? No. We don’t have the perspective to understand. Obviously Brazil has been found wanting. There’s no question that these people are being punished. Hashem (God) is doing it to an entire country. That’s how you know it’s from God. What God is sending down is a national punishment. To devastate an entire country? This is really a plague.”
End Times expert and author Rabbi Pinchas Winston suggested to Breaking Israel News that, as the End of Days approaches, there is something deeper going on. “For the disbeliever, nations rise and nations fall, and not always for the most logical of reasons. For the person for whom everything is a function of Divine Providence, divine justice is the basis of all that occurs.
“This is true of nations in general, but in particular, as history comes to a close. Like a store closing its doors for good, there are accounts to be settled, accounts the world may have forgotten about, but not the Creator.
“The headlines may only focus on the how, but the spiritually astute person might even be able to figure of the why.”
On the opposite side, many people reject the notion that Brazil is being punished by God, either for sexual immorality or for a history of opposing Jewish and Israeli interests. They find it abhorrent to connect thousands of children born with severe birth defects to Heavenly punishment on a national scale.