Israel Forever

For the week ending 28 January 2006 / 28 Tevet 5766

Heavenly Plagues or Natural Disasters?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

During the past couple of years the world has been witness to a wide range of natural disasters that have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and have caused damage to countless billions worth of property.

What has mankind learned from all these earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes, floods and landslides? By dismissing them as “natural” disasters most of our people have failed to detect the Heavenly message directed at them through these events.

This was the attitude displayed by Pharaoh and his sorcerers when G-d sent plagues upon the Egyptians to compel them to free His chosen people from bondage. They initially attempted to dismiss these plagues as the products of black magic which the Egyptian sorcerers were capable of duplicating. But even when successive plagues described in this week’s Torah portion were beyond their ability to duplicate, they foolishly believed that they were merely victims of natural disasters until the final plague shook them into an awareness that they were dealing with a Divine force.

The so-called natural disasters of the past years were Heaven-sent messages to our people to wake up to our responsibilities as Jews and thus secure forever.

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