Nature / Noachide Laws

The reason for catastrophes

B”H
On the Haiti earthquake in 2010
Published on: January 27, 2010 10:26 AM
Editorial By Dr. Abraham J. Twerski Torahweb.org
New York – The recent tragedy in Haiti has elicited a number of comments. People question why G-d permits such catastrophes to happen. Others ask, why go to places of worship to pray for the victims to the G-d who smote them? Some people see such tragedies as expressions of G-d’s wrath, but, are the victims of earthquake, tsunami and tornadoes to be considered the most sinful people in the world?
My understanding of these happenings is based on the statement of the Zohar, that the Torah was the “blueprint” according to which G-d created the world. In other words, Torah is Natural Law, according to which the world operates. The Law of Gravity is Natural Law and is inviolable as are other physical laws, and so is the Natural Law of Torah. If the physical law that keeps the moon in its orbit were somehow suspended, the moon would crash into the earth, but this would not be a punitive act by G-d. If someone puts one’s hand into a fire, one gets burned, but that is not a punitive act of G-d. Rather, it is the result of Natural Law that fire burns.
According to the Torah, there are seven Noahide Laws that are binding on all human beings, and these constitute the Natural Law according to which the world operates; these are:
1. Prohibition of idolatry
2. Prohibition of murder
3. Prohibition of theft
4. Prohibition of sexual promiscuity
5. Prohibition of blasphemy
6. Prohibition of flesh taken from a live animal
7. Requirement to have just laws.
All human beings, religionists and non-religionists are required to abide by these laws, which underlie the Natural Law according to which the world operates. Violation of these laws is tampering with Natural Law, whose consequences can be catastrophic.
The world is a closed system. When a butterfly flaps its wings in Norway, it affects the ecology in Australia. When the Natural Law is intact, the earth’s crust and the atmosphere are stable. When air pollution tampers with the ozone layer, or sulfur dioxide pollution causes acid rain, the effects may be felt hundreds of miles away from the perpetrators. The people suffering these effects are not being “punished” by G-d, but are the victims of the reckless behavior of other people.
Is this an injustice? Yes, just as it is an injustice for a pedestrian to be killed by a reckless driver. Such happenings occur because G-d does not interfere with the free choice and behavior of human beings. Just as we do not fault G-d when an innocent person is killed by a reckless driver, we should not fault G-d when innocent people, victims of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunami, suffer from the reckless behavior of those who violate the Natural Law.
No one is singled out to suffer the consequences of tampering with Natural Law. Violation of the seven Noahide Laws by people on one continent may result in a disruption of the Natural Law according to which the world operates, and the consequences of such disruption may occur on a distant continent. The disruption of the Natural Law which affected Indonesia and Haiti may have been caused by violations of the Noahide Laws by people the world over. No individual or group of people can be singled out as responsible and as being punished.
The seven Noahide Laws are the basis of decency and morality. Every human being should behave according to them.

________________________________________

Source: Voz is Neias ?
Special Thanks to Shirat Devorah

I am going to write more on the subject in the articles to follow ! Quoting from a Midrash and Rabbi Zamir Cohen on the CONTINENTAL DRIFT not too long after Creation and the first humans.

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6 thoughts on “The reason for catastrophes

  1. Have you ever heard of Rabbi David Kats and his book ‘World of the Ger’
    http://www.gergear.com/
    he puts forth the idea of a modern day Ger Toshav thats slightly above Noachides, I have yet to get the book and to check it out.

  2. B”H

    When I hear GER TOSHAV, I always think about Gentiles turning into Noachides. But only in the times of 2000 years and more ago.

    I once knew a guy I always met at a certain Shabbaton: He was not Jewish but claiming that a Rabbi teaching at a Yeshiva was turning him into a Noachide or even Ger Toshav. Some procedure according to the Rambam. The guy also thought that this would give him the right to apply for Aliyah or, at least, gain Israeli citizenship.

    However, this is not the case at all. Being a Ger Toshav (through some Rabbi) or a Noachide doesn’t give you any rights in the present State of Israel. As a matter of fact, the people working at the Ministry of the Interior would think that you are nuts by making such a biblical claim. 🙂

  3. B”H

    By the way, the guy I was mentioning got deported in the end. He was living in Israel without a valid visa. I think he had been illegal for seven years or more. The cops caught him at his hostel and he was deported back to England.

  4. From what i can see from the discussions he says the idea of Noachides is a more recent invention and that Ger Toshav was more the intended designation for gentiles interested in the Torah etc. It seems also like this is aimed at the people that are Noachides where maybe they dont find those 7 mitzvot as fulfilling enough for them perhaps. He does reference Rambam alot. I agree though that the M.O.T. couldnt just grant status to people claiming Ger Toshav. I havent read his book so i can only relate the little that ive picked up from conversations with him and others. The thing about it that i do find interesting is the possibility of some of the Bnei Noach people to become possibly more Torah observant.

  5. B”H

    From what I see today: Many Gentiles get mixed up with being a Noachide. They think that, in order to enter Olam HaBah, they have to be Jewish and thus try getting into a conversion course.

    A big mistake, as we know from the Talmud (Sanhedrin) that also Gentiles keeping the Noachide Laws enter Olam HaBah and not only Jews !!!

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