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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Who Is Sandy?!

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In the midst of it all, a raging fire broke out. Well, we have modern fire fighting equipment and it will be out in a jiffy. Not here. The scene was reminiscent of the days when villagers used bucket brigades in a valiant but futile effort to save their town from burning down. For hours the fire raged out of control and one hundred homes unfortunately burnt to the ground. We can’t put our trust in the fire department either.

Not everyone seemed to have learned the proper lesson, though. “Our mistake was that we only built the sea wall 12 feet high. Next time, we will build it 16 feet high to prevent flooding,” announced an official.

However, if Hashem wants to flood an entire neighborhood, chas v’sholom, we can build the wall as high as we want, and it won’t help. Real estate is not something to put our trust in either. A beach home worth $9.5 million was swept away by the waves. Our storm drains didn’t save us because leaves from the fallen trees clogged the gutters, preventing them from functioning properly. In some cases, the gutters themselves caused the flooding when the huge amount of pressure at the outlet forced water backwards into the houses and streets. Beautiful homes became swimming pools and were totally waterlogged. Our ability to go from place to place with ease was also destroyed. The fallen trees made even the non-flooded streets impassible. The subway system was flooded, together with many tunnels. The list goes on and on.

Thank And Pray

The results of this lesson are twofold. First, we must constantly turn to Hashem and ask for His ongoing protection. We realize that without Him we are small, helpless creatures. Let us also pray for the quick recovery of all those who are still suffering from this catastrophe.

But there is an even more important lesson. Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l once said that we must learn to appreciate everything Hashem gives us. Even the four walls around us must be appreciated! At the time he said this, no one realized how true his words were. But now, after Hashem sent us Sandy, we can really appreciate the walls around us. We will learn to open our eyes and be thankful for all that we have. We won’t take all these modern comforts for granted, as we realize that they are all great kindnesses from Hashem. Each time we say Modim in Shemoneh Esrei, let us have in mind a different one of those conveniences. Hopefully, our thanking Hashem on a constant basis, will keep us from having to be reminded yet again that everything we have truly comes from Him.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at kollel.zay@gmail.com.


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