To get through lockdown, we must have solidarity

We will shoulder this lockdown together and come through it as a community. We have no other choice.

An Israeli family sits on the steps outside their apartment building in Jerusalem, as they stay at home with their children during a nation-wide quarantine, on March 31, 2020.  (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
An Israeli family sits on the steps outside their apartment building in Jerusalem, as they stay at home with their children during a nation-wide quarantine, on March 31, 2020.
(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)
 Israel is entering an unprecedented second full lockdown today. For the next two weeks at least, over the solemn Yom Kippur holiday and over Succot, the country is basically going to come to a halt.
This is the price we must pay to fight the rise in COVID-19 cases. It is an unfortunate, ill-timed and difficult situation, and every Israeli knows that we have arrived at this crossroad due to a variety of reasons. We all bare some responsibility. 
We have responsibility toward each other, symbolized by the wearing of masks and social distancing. We also have a right to demand more responsibility from the government that has enabled this to happen and has acted until now with confusion and amid a state of chaos.
However, now is not the time for the blame game. Now is the time for solidarity and shouldering the burden, whether you are secular or religious, Left or Right. Not only are we in yet another holiday season that is impacting on the ability to worship in the customary manner, but it’s separating families again, and many people are left alone. 
Businesses are being badly battered by the uncertainty and closures. This lockdown is expected to cost billions of shekels. Israel already experienced a severe lockdown in March and April. It was considered one of the more strict lockdowns in the world, with streets deserted for part of it and people forced to stay within just 150 meters of their homes. 
Unfortunately, the relaxation of these measures and some ignoring of the guidelines led this country to have the highest infection rate per capita in the world. Now our fears are being realized in the hospitals, as more and more people need treatment.
We should have faith that our military and law enforcement officials and many of the mid-level officials tasked with aiding the population will do all they can to help us get through this. We should applaud those helping and doing their jobs and taking responsibility for their fellow citizens. This disaster has shown that we can only rely on one another.
We are now heading toward a state of emergency, and we must put our neighbors first. That means that we should stay home and obey the guidelines as best we can through the next two weeks, foregoing protests and other outpourings of anger that many of us feel. 
We understand this from Israel’s history. When Israel was tested in the past, it came through the most difficult challenges in its history together. At all those junctures it was not due to the leadership, but the willingness of average person to do what was necessary. 
This was true in the Yom Kippur War, whose anniversary will coincide with this lockdown. It was on the banks of the Suez Canal and along the border with Syria in the Golan Heights that Israelis stood and fought ferocious enemies. They did so, from the bunkers of the Bar-Lev line to the Valley of Tears, because they had faith in each other and in the overall mission of the country.
What sustained us in the Second Intifada, in 1948 and other times was always that willingness to keep going, despite the absence of leadership. When Sderot was under constant fire from rockets and the message from Jerusalem was that there was no immediate solution, people sang songs and helped each other. Volunteers from all over Israel came in solidarity. Geniuses and hi-tech experts build the Iron Dome system.
We don’t have an Iron Dome for COVID-19 but we must trust in the abilities of the IDF and in our dynamic fellow citizens that we will ultimately overcome this pandemic. We are not alone in the world. Not only do we have new friends in the Gulf who are working tirelessly to identify technologies to fight COVID-19, but we are part of a global community going through this suffering together.
We will come through this stronger. We will come through this together. When it is over we will demand answers together. For now, much as the sukkah symbolizes our heritage of dwelling together in a unique way, we will shoulder this lockdown together and come through it as a community. We have no other choice.