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World in Lockdown

World in Lockdown

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The rabbis agreed that the time had come for our family to leave China. "It is a clear case of sakanas nefashos."

I called a travel agent on Friday morning. By Motza'ei Shabbos we were heading to the airport. Suddenly, I slapped my head. "Sara'le," I said. "With all of the rush and craziness I completely forgot to make Havdalah."

"It's okay, Dovi. There's a Starbucks in the airport and Havdalah can also be made on coffee."

I smiled.

Fourteen members of my kehillah were milling about next to the shop entrance. "I’m making Havdalah out loud for you all," I said. "Let's stand together." I opened my siddur, and lifted the cup of steaming coffee. "Hinei Kel yeshuasi.... Behold, Hashem is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid."

The words seemed to take on new meaning against the backdrop of a virus that was claiming lives and changing the world at an alarming pace. 

The coronavirus has changed the face of reality for billions around the globe. Within the Jewish community, simchos have been celebrated with less than a minyan in attendance, people’s livelihoods and lives have been altered in unfathomable ways, and levayahs have become far too frequent. 

World in Lockdown explores the profound effects of a virus that has forced the world to examine and redefine its norms and priorities. In this book, twenty-four people share their stories of triumph and personal strength in the face of adversity. Written in a candid, engaging, and dramatic style, this book will leave readers identifying with the interviewees, laughing and crying with them, and reveling in their successes. Indeed, it is a book that will also leave readers celebrating their own successes in the face of one of recent history’s most trying times.

Chaya Sara Ben Shachar is the author of over ten popular YA novels and two non-fiction books. 

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