I once had the opportunity to be seated at a Shabbat morning Kiddush near a gentleman in his nineties. This man was jovial as ever, and also happened to be an acquaintance of Albert Einstein. I remember him being asked - I was 16 at the time - if he ever spoke with Einstein about G‑d. He said he did. 'Einstein was drinking a cup of tea or coffee', he said, and the now nonagenarian asked the great scientist if he believed in G‑d. Einstein sat there with his cup, twirling his spoon around, thought for a moment, and said, 'And where do you think it all began?'

Jews and faith have a long, intertwined history. You might even say that Jews were the inventors of faith. Faith in the Creator of the universe, in the Torah and our traditions. Faith in family, education, friendship and love. Jews have been so entwined with faith, that we've actually become known as a faith - although Jewish identity is far broader than that.

Yet, Jews have also been at the forefront of logical, analytical and scientific accomplishment. To say that Jewish faith on the one hand, and the Jewish analytical approach to life on the other, merely tolerate each other, or even enhance one another would be inadequate. 

That same Jewish spirit which serves as an incubator for faith in G‑d, seems to be the very force driving the intellectual and rational momentum. 

Isn't that odd, though? A people known for their faith - even known as a faith - should have that very same faith in a heavenly Creator, propagate down-to-earth logical thinking?

Herein lies the secret of Jewish 'Emunah' - faith. Jewish faith is rooted in the idea that every detail of creation - from Mars to mushrooms - is meticulously managed by G‑d. Every person we meet, every challenge we face and every joy we experience is there for a reason. 

It is no wonder, then, that Jewish faith lead seamlessly to logical inquiry and a quest for what really makes things tick. With Judaism itself being rooted in the belief that every occurrence has a deeper reason and purpose, the quest for the deeper reason and purpose of science, medicine or economics won't be far behind. 

The world now faces a challenge the likes of which have not been seen in a generation, if ever. A tiny virus threatens to knock the entire planet off balance, leaving many of us wondering what tomorrow will bring. The virus challenges the structure of global normalcy and routine, and has made many panic.

So what do we do? How do we respond? We should follow the directives of health care professionals and agencies, be careful, hygienic and alert. We should do our utmost to make sure our families and communities are safe, especially the most vulnerable among us.

And we should remember Einstein's words. 'Where do you think it all began?'

Ultimately, G‑d is the Creator. We do our utmost to make sure everything runs smoothly in our world, and trust in G‑d to make sure we're ok. Faith is simply the belief - the knowledge - that someone is watching over us. 

Let's use this time to increase in acts of kindness and Mitzvot. If we can't socially interact as we usually do, let's find a replacement. Call someone who's lonely in a senior home. Even send a text. We can certainly connect with G‑d.

Yes, it's a time of worry, a time of need; perhaps a time of vacuum of positive energy. But that means there's a lot of space waiting to be filled. A Mitzvah, a smile, a few minutes of Torah study are punching above their (already powerful) weight these days. 

Wishing you a wonderful and safe Shabbat,

Rabbi Avrohom