A minor yet significant slowdown in the upward trend of newly-verified coronavirus cases is seemingly taking hold throughout the State of Israel – offering a glimpse of light at the end of a long and dark tunnel.
The Ministry of Health is reporting 414 new infections, raising the overall total to 9,755 Israelis. 63 individuals have recovered from the disease. 8 more people succumbed to the virus, bringing to number of Israeli victims to 79 and reflecting an 11.3% increase since yesterday.
Meanwhile, Israel has come to a near-complete standstill since the imposition of a nationwide lockdown last night just ahead of the start of the week long Biblical festival of Passover, as divinely recorded in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 12: Verses 14-18.
Before the celebratory Passover feast called the Seder in Hebrew, Israeli leaders issued celebratory greetings to the Jewish people around the world.
“I want to send you wishes for a happy Passover!” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before acknowledging, “That’s strange, because this Passover is different from all other Passovers.”
“I know that there is not a section of the globe that is not afflicted with corona, and it requires all of us to change our way of living, our way of life, and our way of celebrating even ancient holidays like Passover. This has got to be a first,” he said, adding, “Perhaps with the exception of the first Passover. Because we were sitting ensconced in the homes in Egypt and we hoped that the pestilence would pass over our homes. Well, this is exactly what we in Israel are doing today and probably what many of you are doing in the Diaspora.”
Netanyahu went on to urge Jews worldwide to “abide by the directives that are given by your respective governments and health ministries, but equally, I want you to remember our shared destiny,” which he said “has enabled the Jewish people to overcome the greatest trials and tribulations since the beginning of time, or since the beginning of our recorded time.”
“We’ve overcome so many challenges,” stressed the Premier, underscoring that, “We have reestablished our state. We have reestablished our independence, and we’ve formed one of the greatest societies on Earth: the State of Israel.”
Saying that Israel “is your home and will always be your home,” Prime Minister Netanyahu reminded his listeners to be mindful of precautions against COVID-19. “Please celebrate Passover with your close family, and please remember that we are holding our hearts for you every day, and especially this day.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin made a televised address to the nation, in which he said that, “In describing the suffering of the people of Israel in Egypt, in the Book of Exodus, we read that ‘the Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.’”
“In these days, my dear ones, we are all praying, separately but together, young and old, secular and religious, for the better days ahead,” said the Israeli President, adding that “We all ask (God) ‘remember the covenant of our forefathers.”
He wished all one and all a “Happy Feast of Passover” with the tradition hope expressed at the end of every Seder, for it to be celebrated “next year, together; together in Jerusalem.”
President Rivlin concluded with the powerful statement, “The nation of Israel lives”