Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Kislev 5766 - December 28, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Opinion & Comment
"And the Waters Prevailed Over the Earth Exceedingly..." (Bereishis 7): The Anniversary of the Tsunami

To The Editor:

The areas hit by last year's Asian tsunami were described as the most paradisical on Earth. In a few seconds they were reduced to the most hellish.

At the time of the Mabul 4,110 years ago, in addition to the violently destructive torrents of rain and the breaking open of the mayanos tehom rabbah, mighty tsunamis, vastly bigger than last year's, hundreds of feet tall, repeatedly circled the globe at hundreds of miles per hour, pulverizing everything in their path: "Deep calls unto deep at the roar of Your water-channels: all Your breakers and Your waves have swept over me!" (Tehillim 42).

"No trouble comes to world except on behalf of Yisroel" (Yevomos 63) — "in order to frighten them to do teshuvoh" (Rashi). If Jewry and mankind were logical, by rights the earthquake off Indonesia that spawned the tsunami wave should be more than enough to spawn a national, even an international wave of teshuvoh. When Tokyo was destroyed by an earthquake in 1923, killing 60,000, the Chofetz Chaim did not stop speaking about it for ten years, saying that it was a sign for his generation to mend its ways.

"Surely in that day there will be a great shaking in the Land of Yisroel; so that the fishes of the sea, the fowl of the heaven, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things and all the men that are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; and the mountains will be overthrown, the cliffs will topple and every wall will collapse" (Yechezkel 38).

"G-d sends earthquakes when he sees places of amusement and entertainment overly flourishing, while the Temple lies a heap of dust and ashes" (Yerushalmi Brochos 9)!

Beneath our feet lie the fossils of millions of extinct animals and men. They are a silent witness to a time when mankind became so depraved that finally it was virtually wiped out in one great cataclysm of water. Fearful though this thought may be, we can take some comfort that we have been promised that this will never happen time it will be by eish!

Yours truly,

Amnon Goldberg


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