Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Waves of Fury and Fear

Mishpacha Staff

As October came to a close, the frenetic pre-election activity slowed, then halted, asAmerica’s entire Eastern Coastheld its collective breath – watching and waiting for a furious storm to hit.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

hurricaneHurricaneSandy had strewn loss and devastation on its previous touchdowns inCentral America. Now, as it barreled ever closer to the North American coastline, presidential polls were relegated to the back burner. Residents of coastal areas were urged to evacuate. Generators, batteries and flashlights were snatched from the shelves, schools cancelled, businesses ground to a halt, andNew York City’s famed subway system closed.

The weathermen were right this time.Sandyhit, and hit hard, spewing waves of debris over homes and businesses, sweeping away children from parents and uprooting trees with casual ease. Millions of homes were plunged into cold and darkness, a majorNew Yorkhospital was forced to evacuate its patients, dozens of innocents killed.

A week later, citizens are still limping back to routine, facing staggering damages and a prolonged, painful cleanup campaign.

Sandy may be gone, but the images of those furious gray waves swallowing up civilization — and the sense of human fragility in the face of Divine might — won’t recede for a long, long time.

 

With Surgical Precision

Long Island, NY

The insurance people have suddenly become very frum: “It was an act of G-d,” they say. The media, not as religious, wrote of “the power of the storm” or “nature’s fury.”

But we know better. Koheles (3:14) says, “V’haElokim asah sheyiru m’lefanav — G-d has acted so that man should stand in awe of him.” The early part of the Kuzari quotes a philosopher who was perfectly comfortable believing in a Creator. He just couldn’t imagine that G-d cares enough to be involved on a daily basis. All of a sudden, here He is in our lives — with surgical precision. This tree down, that one not, this house flooded, that one tranquil.

I can’t speak for others. But for the past week I have heard our brothers and sisters, some who have lost everything, declare with full faith, “I accept it all from Hashem.”

We left town because of an enforced evacuation and returned to darkness. Our house was flooded, rare seforim ruined, manuscripts lost. We couldn’t participate in a Shabbos bar mitzvah, and since our cell phones weren’t working we stopped by just to say mazel tov. Suddenly, in the house next door to the bar mitzvah, a minyan for Minchah-Maariv was beginning. Even better, the bar mitzvah bochur was davening for the amud in honor of his bo bayom. So we danced, said divrei Torah, made a l’chayim and felt that “the Jews had light and gladness and joy.”

— Rabbi Yaakov Feitman

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"