Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lions, Volcanos, and Car Bombs, oh my!

These past couple of weeks have been full of nissim v'niflaot, as usual. Only this time, they were incredibly obvious, and I have no idea how so many people missed the point.

I was listening to a shiur that shed a lot of light on this issue.

As many of us know, there was a volcano erruption in Iceland that blocked out all flying traffic to and from Europe. The Rav mentioned how this is mida k'neged mida: when there was smoke from the crematoriums, where Jewish bodies were burned in the holocaust, that didn't stop people from flying and continuing with their lives. Davka now, a volcano with hot, dangerous lava that was in a freezing place decided to erupt. However, nobody was killed as a result of this.

FFWD to a few weeks later: a car bomb found in NYC's times square. Police said that had this bomb exploded, it would've wiped out thousands of people (not to mention the cars and buildings it would've ruined.) But no. *The bomb was removed right in time and nobody was killed.

After many people hear the news, how do they respond?

"Oh wow, that's scary."

"Oh, nothing happened. Phew."

Really, now. These are all signs from HaShem. It's a chessed from HaShem that nothing bad happened, but it's also a warning: we're doing something to trigger these potential tragedies.

It's a sign not only to us Jews, but to all Americans, Europeans, and everybody else around the world. It wasn't nature that told the volcano to erupt; it was G-d. G-d decided that now was the time. It was G-d Who decided that the bomb shouldn't have been set off.

What I took from these events was that Western society needs to quit thanking and blaming everything on nature and science. True, there is a technical and scientific reason. G-d made the world that way -- purposely, so that His presence shouldn't be incredibly obvious to the point that we can't have bechira. Western society needs to open their eyes and realize G-d is the one in charge; G-d is The One Who saves us.
Thankfully, these events have been pain-free. But what if the world continues to choose to be deaf and blind? Maybe then G-d will have to send us an even bigger "sign" -- except it might not be an easy and care-free that time around.

I'm not sure how people believe the big bang theory and evolution bologna. I don't buy that anyone REALLY believes in it; they use it as an excuse, so that they'll feel at ease with not following any particular religion. And therefore, be free of obligations.
I hope and pray that society will open up its eyes and see the greatness and glory of HaKadosh Baruch Hu, before the midda of "din" (judgment) has to be used.
*Perhaps this bomb will finally lead Americas to realize a miniscule of a percentage of how Israelis feel and live every day. It's a common occurence in Israel to have a "chefetz chashud" on a street; people phone the police, who then tell everyone to back up, blow it up, and then everyone procceeds with the rest of their regular daily schedule.


  1. Yeah, people really underestimate the devastating potential of these events, and don't attribute enough religious significance to them..

    As opposed to the belief of Haredim, the big bang and evolution can be seen in a Judaic context (which is what I and many other "rational" Orthodox Jews believe).

    I agree with the last sentiment, but in truth even 9/11 didn't garner a whole lot of sympathy for Israel...

  2. Shlomo, do you mean that the big bang could've happened -- since G-d was the One who initiated it? B/c I'm aware of that "rational" belief, but that's not the big bang theory.

    9/11 was very drastic; B"H there hasn't been such a terrorist attack on Israel. (There've been wars, which are arguably way worse, but thank G-d, no suicide attack that killed so many people.)
    I'd say bomb "threats" or "scares" are a lot more similar to what Israelis experience daily.

  3. You make an excellent point but at the same time we must realize that this phenomenon of people "missing the point" is far from new... While the Jews were in Miztriam it took several plagues for most of the Mitzrim to "get it". In fact after 8 4/5th of the Jews still did not believe in Hashem. Especially nowadays when it is easier than ever to push something off as a scientific discovery people believe less and less in Hashem. In fact Rabbi Tatz has several excellent shiurim, which I spend most of last summer listening to on (a fantastic shiur website), in which he speaks about why Hashem does not do open miracles nowadays like He used to. Basically if Hashem performs a miracle than He expects us to act in a certain way (ie do teshuva, do more mitzvot, etc.). If after performing that miracle we are unchanged we are actually worse off than we started. The reason why most people nowadays seem to just not get it is mostly because they do not want to get it. No one ever said that Judaism was easy and for people to accept Judaism it would mean that they would have to give up the way they live and people do not like change too much. So it is not so hard to see why people just do not get it, if you do not open your eyes you will not see...

  4. Azriel Tzvi - thanks for sharing that. I also enjoy Rabbi Tatz's shiurim, and that's a really interesting point he makes about HaShem's way of performing miracles. I never thought about it that way...