Dear Readers,

This week, we begin the book of Bamidbar, which is also known as the book of Numbers (Chamesh HaPekudim) because it begins and ends with a detailed census. All of Israel who were warriors, of draftable age, were counted.

“To count” in Hebrew is written literally as “to raise the head.” As we wage war against the coronavirus, it’s an appropriate time to “count” our many warriors and “raise up” or pay respects to those valiantly fighting this terrible enemy.

To the many mommies and daddies at home, you try so hard to have patience for your children as you entertain them, while you cook and clean (and possibly, still work remotely), despite your own stress.

To the children and teenagers, like my own daughter, your lives have been disrupted and you feel so alone, yet you refrain from meeting up with friends because you understand the harm it can cause others.

To those who lost their jobs or businesses and are worried about their economic future, yet fight despair.

To spouses who are not used to spending so much time in such close proximity during a taxing situation, yet are being careful to act kindly.

To the doctors, nurses, health-care professional (including members of Hatzolah) who are being called to act way beyond your call of duty and are endangering your own lives to save others, we can never adequately express our gratitude.

To those sick and infected with the COVID-19, who are fighting the greatest battle of their lives, please stay strong.

To those many people who aretakingon extra mitzvot, reciting Psalms, studying Torah or praying more you are spiritually fighting to help those who are ill.

To those who have lost loved ones, including a dear friend whose husband passed away right before Passover, and another who buried her father, who are valiantly struggling to remain brave for those around them, you are examples of faith and courage.

For our grandparents and great-grandparents, like my parents or like those in even less fortunate situations who are in complete solitude, please keep up your spirit and good health, we need you!

To the many volunteers, like those shopping for their isolated neighbors, or like those who have recovered from the virus and stood in line to donate their plasma, or like the woman who sews masks and hangs them in her front lawn, your generous spirit remains an inspiration.

To our teachers, you always deserved our praise, but now you have stepped up to learn a whole new way of teaching creatively online (some even while caring for their own children!).

To the many essential workers who are staffing supermarkets, managing gas stations, and picking up trash and recyclables, you are showing up so that we can buy our food, keep our vehicles running and dispose of the waste of that food.

And to the many others who are warriors on the coronavirus front, even if your contribution is “just” staying home to save others, I stand in admiration for your determination and love of your fellow.

Together, we will overcome this!

Chana Weisberg,

Editor, TJW

P.S. Please add in comments any COVID-19 warrior you’d like to pay tribute to.