Natural disasters and Hashem

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    Some rabbonim regularly claim every natural disaster comes straight from Hashem as a punishment / warning / call for tesuhva, whatever, for us.

    My opinion is that this is complete nonsense. North Atlantic hurricanes storms develop off the coast of western Africa for quite well (though not completely) understood reasons. There are plenty such storms every year, see the NHC website to keep track.

    Just like earthquakes, hurricans have absolutely nothing to do with ‘punishment’ or ‘awakenings’ from Hashem.

    I wonder whether those who call a hurricane a ‘call from Hashem’ are able to explain the influence of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation, the influence of the thermohaline circulation, and in particular the role the Gulf Stream had in Sandy’s development. Would they even know what these terms refer to? Are they able to even understand the BASICS of the science involved?

    In my opinion, those claiming natural events come ‘straight from Hashem’ are ignoramuses who lower themselves to the same level as Iranian ayatollahs or Baptist Christians.

    The same applies to diseases, drought, and every other similar issue.

    I see it as a sign of the extremely low and insufficient knowledge of science some frum people have.

    Now, before being branded an apikorus, of course I believe everything comes from Hashem, and nothing happens unless Hashem wants it to happen. If that applies to me moving my toes in my shoes, it certainly applies to a hurricane! However, I, personally, believe in ‘minimal intervention’ – I do not believe that Hashem actively decides on every tiny little thing that happens in the world; in particular, I believe this applies to everything for which reasonable scientific proof or serious, reliable theories exist. Things such as the way the weather/climate and earthquakes work, as well as medical issues, are part of this. In other words, we *know* – at least partially – how and why hurricanes develop and why earthquakes occur, and how people get sick, and how new viruses form. We know that these are natural processes and not ‘supernatural’ – they are events that, to an extent, we are able to understand and explain.


    Some rabbonim regularly claim every natural disaster comes straight from Hashem as a punishment / warning / call for tesuhva, whatever, for us.

    My opinion is that this is complete nonsense.

    Who care what your opinion is.

    Yidden look up to their rabbonim for guidance.

    Not internet pundits.

    Yes, every natural disaster and every non-natural disaster that occurs is a message to us from Hashem. This fact is explicit.

    What that message is can sometimes be explained to us by our gedolim.


    I refer you to the “uNesaneh Tokef” which was recited at my Synagogue yesterday 6 weeks ago, listing several of these natural disasters, as well as those which we all recited during Zichronos, yesterday 6 weeks ago.


    Whoever thought that first comment was put here by a human is a FOOL! It shows that you don’t begin to understand anything about IPs, routers, electrons, semi-conductors, browsers, fiber-optics, keyboard coding, 32 bit and 64 systems, CPU clocks, FCC rules, and WordPress.


    HaLeivi- Nice one!

    You can add DNS servers, and an OS like Windows or something UNIX based.

    BTW I think the keyboard coding would be UTF…


    It’s a befeirush gemara that “Ain Puranus ba LaOlam ela…”.

    That doesn’t mean we know why Hashem brought this or any other storm. But Chazal have already informed us of the general principle.

    It’s also interesting that you mention your “theory” after this particular storm, which was unprecedented and was a “perfect storm”, not a “typical” storm, and therefore was that much more “miraculous”.


    I can go on a similar rant about the biochemistry of the brain, “proving” that we have no free will.

    YW Moderator-42

    The fact that Hashem is intimately involved in everything that happens is a basic of our belief. The fact that everything can be explained scientifically is part of the way Hashem created the world with a concept of tevah.


    What is it that you don’t get? This was truly Yad Hashem. As we hear more reports we will see the huge amount of chesed that people did for each other.


    The Chassidishe Gatesheader-

    saying that are not a apikorus, doesn’t preclude you from being one.

    the fact is you do not seem to believe in God’s direct hand in the world.

    this is the definition of being an apikorus.

    saying that God just created the world doesn’t control it now, is denying His Being today.

    It’s unfortunate athat you still believe this to be true while considering yourself to be in “intellectual” frum Jew.

    I hope you find a way and become a true believer in Hashem’s role in this world.


    The gentile world calls it a “natural disaster”. We are immersed in the gentile world, therefore we accept their terminology and Jewdify it with the Hebrew word “peronius”.

    What is “reality”? We have been conditioned to interpret reality based on what we see (even though we face the contradiction of not seeing ruchniyus). But true reality is what Torah tells us is real – Toras EMES.

    May I suggest we first examine if al pi Torah there is a “silver lining” or a positive “spin” to such natural “disasters”. Indeed, as frum yidden Torah creates our reality – not the anchor on the Weather Channel.

    Indeed, what the gentiles call “natural disasters” are according to Chazal an act of Chesed by Hashem, an act of remembrance that will result in the true and complete Redemption immediately! Amen!


    The Chassidishe Gatesheader

    You may understand the macroscopic, but you have no clue as to the quantum effect or chaos theory.


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    The Gemora says:

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    Bubka. Wow, thanks. That Rambam is fascinating. Is this mitzvah asei included under tochacha, tehuvah or is it a separate mitzvah? It seems like teshuvah.

    in summary (not a translation), for the only english readers, the Rambam says:

    A) It is a mitzvah to cry and trumpet when a tzarah/disater comes on the public.(he brings a pasuk)

    B)This is for repentance, to inform the public that it was due to their bad actions that this occurred. (he brings a pasuk for that)

    C) If they don’t do this and instead say this is the natural way of the world, i.e. was happenstance etc.. This is wickedness and causes people to stick to their evil ways. This will cause additional, other disasters to come. (He brings a passuk to support that).


    And of course, Hashem said that the rainbow is a Siman. He knows about light, wavelengths, prisms and water.


    What’s so ironic is that even non-Jews call these “natural occurrences” – Acts of God!!

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