Tsunami Season

The recent Samoan tsunami brings back horrific memories of the far more catastrophic Pacific Rim Tsunami five years ago.

Here are some reflections from back then. May HaShem comfort those whose lives have been turned upside down by the unfathomable power of nature.


  1. #1 by Norm Pressman on October 5, 2009 - 10:04 am

    Where was Hashem when all this happened Did he cause it or did he just let it happen and if he can interfere with our lives why hasn’t he or she made it right?

  2. #2 by torahideals on October 5, 2009 - 10:45 am

    Hardly a new or original question. It has been asked by Job, by Moses, and by endless thinkers through the ages. Here are some thoughts, for those who are really interested in finding answers. There’s much more to be said, but this is a start:






  3. #3 by Norm Pressman on October 6, 2009 - 8:57 am

    Rabbi-Your article has several errors and makes some incorrect assumptions.

    First, evolution does not seek to explain the origin of life but only its transformation from simpler to more complex types. A Jewish grad student, Stanley Miller has come the closest to producing some elements of life in the laboratory and that was in the 50’s. There is much controversy about his work I don’t believe any scientist has come up with a generally accepted theory on the origin of life.

    Second, its obvious your school doesn’t teach evolution but do you teach the “Young Earth Theory” that the Earth is 5700 years old? Do you teach that the actual Torah’s words were handed down on Mt. Sinai?.

    And no I don’t suggest that a belief in religion would exclude the existence of extraterrestrial beings. But I ask you: If there are such beings are they bound by the of Torah?-are the laws of the Torah, such as the use of a Shabbat elevator and the prohibition against the mixing of fibers in clothes local to the earth or do they apply universally? The story of Jonah deals with God’s jurisdiction. Does our local god have jurisdiction over a civilization in another galaxy? If he does, how do we know which of the laws are universal and which are local. How does one define Shabbat in another solar system or galaxy? Is same sex marriage allowed on Mars or Uranus? I’ve asked Christians whether extraterrestrials who haven’t heard of Jesus are “saved” in the Protestant sense-Does God love intelligent beings in another galaxy less that our own Jewish tribe because he gave Jews on earth the Torah?

    I hope things are going well at Shaare Emeth and that no young men have heard women sing. I undderstand that Barbara Streisand may be singing there next year-keep your ears shut.

  4. #4 by Steven Edward Aanes on October 6, 2009 - 2:14 pm

    Great questions and great suggestions for the seekers of G_d among us.

    I start off every day with JWR. I heartily recommend it.

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