Chaplain’s Message – April 19, 2020
In the synagogue cycle of reading the five books of Moses, called the Torah, we are now in the book of Leviticus… and what are often considered to be the most difficult of sections, dealing with skin diseases (unfortunately often erroneously translated as leprosy).
I share this because ancient society, like today, faced unknown plagues. What to do, especially then? The affected individual was isolated, put in quarantine, for 7 days and then another 7 days (the origin of today’s 14-day usual number.) But someone had to check the individual and see if he/she somehow was healed. It is worth noting that the person who did this was the priest, the religious figure / leader of the community.
The question is why? The priest would need the same training as anyone else. It was not part of his normal duties. Tradition teaches that, in his presence, he demonstrated that the community was still concerned about the person, and the priest was showing both community and personal concern for the afflicted. The community cared about the individual afflicted. He or she was not forgotten.
Amongst the many statements re “social distancing” that we are hearing, it is vital that we do not lose track of family and friends… and especially those who have “tested positive.” We have means today to be in contact with them and support them… as well as praying for their healing.
The CAP Chief of Chaplains office has set up channels for any CAP member wanting to talk to a chaplain, especially if you are not otherwise connected to clergy. I have been repeating that message regularly… and I am doing it again. Please contact either Chaplain Jason Batchelder or myself WHENEVER you desire to talk to a chaplain! Our contact info is on the wing website.
Chaplain Gary Atkins