RABBI'S CORNER 

CORONAVIRUS -- THE MORAL ASPECT


By RABBI DR. RAYMOND APPLE


Job spoke for all of us when he said, "You see a calamity and are afraid" (Job 6:21).  We all see a calamity unfolding before us and we are all afraid. Some call it an epidemic, others a pandemic. It is a panic-demic.

The travel industry is collapsing, schools and universities are closing, there are ghost towns everywhere, life is in lockdown. The first instinct of some people is to find a scapegoat. Iran is characteristically blaming it on America. Westerners think Asiatics are the ones who are guilty. What ridiculous prejudices!

Those who prefer Biblical thinking recall that scriptural texts constantly link suffering with sin. It must be G[-]d punishing a sinful generation! That was the approach of Job’s friends: "Is not your wickedness great? Are not your iniquities without end?" (Job 22:5).

That’s G[-]d’s policemen speaking – and their thinking is skewed. Why the virus started is a complicated issue. There are many constellations behind the history of Covid-19. Even climatic factors might be involved since this is all happening in a between-seasons period. We can’t cast blame unless we have the information to back it up and even then we have to recognize that it is not a mere academic issue; real people are suffering real pain. Facile stereotypes won’t make anyone feel better.

What we need is a response.

Here are six things to do:
- The first thing can be framed in Biblical language – "venishmar’tem me’od lenafshotechem", "Look after your life carefully" (Deut. 4:15). Follow the advice of the experts even if it means not kissing the mezuzah and not shaking hands. If you need to be quarantined, endure it stoically and keep away from crowds, not only at sport matches but maybe even in shule.


- Support and appreciate the medical profession. Not only in the medical research and development areas. They are in every sense a real line of defense against the enemies that assail every human being’s body and mind.

- Don’t put up with fake information that blames the ordinary individual or groups of them even though they have different looks and likes.

- Pray that G[-]d’s wisdom will guide those who seek ways to contain and control the transmission of the virus, and that His Providence will protect His world and its inhabitants. Psalm 91 is a good prayer to say.

- Accept a pastoral responsibility for those who are suffering, and their families.

- Mould societies in which love, loyalty, support and helpfulness will be the guiding notes, helping the world towards ethical climate change.

NAMING A CHILD AFTER A RELATIVE

Q. Is it allowed to name a child after a living relative?

A. The Sephardim have no problem with this, but the Ashkenazim do.

Historically the Sephardi usage was probably the more authentic, since the Talmud reports several cases of a son bearing his father’s name, e.g. Abba the son of Abba (B’rachot 18b).


Avoiding the name of a living relative may have some folkloristic implications such as not confusing the Angel of Death who may come after one Abba and instead catch another. 


Some German Jewish communities got over the problem by giving a son a second name which was the same as his father’s first name. Thus Samson Raphael Hirsch was Samson the son of Raphael, and Nathan Marcus Adler was Nathan the son of Marcus.


-- Rabbi Raymond Apple, Jerusalem, Israel

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CA GOVERNOR EXPANDS VOTE-BY-MAIL OPTIONS AND EXTENDS DEADLINES FOR PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CANVASS


SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom recently issued an executive order to permit vote-by-mail procedures to be used in three upcoming special elections, protecting public health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. The order also extends the deadlines for ballot counting, tabulation, and other responsibilities related to the official canvass of California’s Presidential Primary Election that could risk undermining social distancing measures, and suspends the timeframes for public hearings required by political subdivisions that are in the process of changing from an at-large method of election to district elections.

                       GOV. NEWSOM ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENTS

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced the following appointments:  Tammatha Foss, 51, of Rescue, has been appointed associate director of Female Offender Program and Services at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Foss has served as associate director for   Reception Centers in the Division of Adult Institutions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2019. She was acting warden at Salinas Valley State Prison from 2018 to 2019 and chief deputy warden there in 2018. Foss was chief deputy warden at High Desert State Prison from 2016 to 2018.  She was a chief in the program support unit at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Headquarters from 2014 to 2016 and correctional administrator in the Division of Adult Institutions from 2013 to 2014.  This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,028. Foss is registered without party preference.

Jared Lozano, 44, of El Dorado Hills, has been appointed associate director of high security male institutions for the Division of Adult Institutions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Lozano has served as warden of California Medical Facility, Vacaville since 2019 and was acting warden there from 2018 to 2019. Lozano was chief deputy warden at Folsom State Prison from 2015 to 2018 and a correctional administrator at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Headquarters in 2015 and from 2012 to 2013. Lozano was acting chief deputy warden at California Health Care Facility, Stockton from 2013 to 2015. He was a lieutenant and captain at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Headquarters from 2006 to 2008, a lieutenant at California State Prison, Solano from 2004 to 2006, a sergeant at Deuel Vocational Institution from 2000 to 2004, and a correctional officer at California State Prison, Solano, from 1997 to 2000. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,028. Lozano is a Republican.

Tom Pier, 57, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission. Pier has been of counsel at Alioto Law Firm since 2005. He was a self-employed political consultant from 1991 to 1999, a lifeguard for the City of Newport Beach from 1988 to 1992 and a fisherman and ship engineer for various shipping vessels from 1985 to 1988. Pier earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco Law School and a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Texas, Austin. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Pier is a Democrat.

G. Joyce Rowland, 65, of Rancho Santa Fe, has been appointed to the 22nd District Agricultural Association, San Diego County Fair Board of Directors. Rowland held several positions at Sempra Energy from 1998 to 2019, including senior vice president, chief culture officer, chief human resources officer and chief administrative officer. She was vice president of human resources at Pacific Enterprises from 1995 to 1998. Rowland held several positions at Southern California Gas Company, including manager of labor relations, manager of consumer affairs and community involvement manager. She is a board member of the Equality California Institute. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree in industrial relations from the University of California, Los Angeles. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Rowland is a Democrat.

Richard Valdez, 56, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the 22nd District Agricultural Association, San Diego County Fair Board of Directors, where he has served since 2014. Valdez has been a partner at Sandler, Lasry, Laube, Byer & Valdez LLP since 2000 and a lecturer at the University of San Diego, School of Law since 2017. He was an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego, School of Law from 2008 to 2017. Valdez was an instructor at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy from 2001 to 2013. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Valdez is a Democrat.

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