May 26, 2013

All for the Sake of Israel

An article about the devastation left in the wake of a tornado in Oklahoma speaks about the tears and our hearts going out to the people there.  Many (most) of us just go on with our lives. 

As mentioned in the previous post, there are just so many news items about death and bereavement and sorry states of affairs that we are exposed to.  In recent days we have had a Moslem hacking a person to death on the streets of London, a tornado, over 1000 people killed in Bangladesh, a bizarre conclusion to the case of missing women in Cleveland, a chilul Hashem trial concerning sordid matters in Lakewood, constant reports and updates about the travesty at the Wall and in the Israeli government.  It's overwhelming. 

So what tears for Oklahoma? How many of us cried over the destruction in Oklahoma? At the very least, we should be thinking that when we hear of a flood in a far-off land, or an epidemic, or war, or famine, the purpose is to bring us closer to G-d. "No misfortune comes into the world unless it is for the sake of Israel" (Yevamos 63A), "in order to cause them to fear G-d and to return in repentance" (Rashi, ibid.)

It helps if, as the article says, "We can stop for a moment and consider the enormity of the devastation." Perhaps to look at some pictures.  To think about how this relates to us.  It's hard to do. I know that in order for something to hit home for me, it usually has to be personalized.  When you read stories about individuals, it makes more of an impact.  And no question, when something happens to your family, i.e. to your fellow Jews, it affects us more.

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