Rav Avigdor Miller on The Florida Hurricane



What’s the reason that if it was decreed that a certain trouble should come on a person, but he is mispallel, he prays to Hashem before the tzarah comes, so Hashem answers him even though he has no other zechus, no other merit?


And the answer is this. The only reason Hashem sends a tzarah on a person is to make him aware of Hashem. That’s the only reason, so that you should cry out to Hashem. That’s the purpose of a tzarah. And so if you cry out beforehand, so you paid in advance and therefore you don’t have to have the tzarah.

You have to understand that no troubles come in the world except for the purpose of היוסר גוים הלא יוכיח – when Hashem sends yesurim on the world isn’t He showing something? המלמד אדם דעת – isn’t He teaching a man daas? (Tehillim 94:10). Which daas? Knowledge of Hashem.

And that’s why if there’s a hurricane and people don’t learn yiras Hashem from the hurricane it’s a tragedy. What a waste of property. A loss of life too. A big hurricane and nothing is learned? “Oh,” they’ll say, “It happened because they’re near the Gulf of Mexico and therefore hurricanes take place there. There’s nothing to learn.”

“Oy yoy yoy,” Hashem says. “What a waste of effort.”

It’s all for the purpose that these people in Florida should cry out to Hashem. They should cry out. And if they don’t cry out it’s a waste.

They should cry out in teshuva. Maybe some of them moved away from New York City because they want to be far away from frum Jews. Could be. There are other things too maybe. Whatever it is, they should cry out to Hashem for His help.

And when a hurricane comes and they don’t cry out so Hakadosh Baruch Hu said לשוא הכיתי את בניכם – for nothing I smote your children (Yirmiyahu 2:30). So at least we should cry out when we see what is happening; at least we should learn from what is happening.

Hashem says that היוסר גוים – when He brings troubles on the nations, הלא יוכיח – is He not trying to teach you something? (Tehillim 94:10). So we read in the papers that nine hundred people in Pakistan were drowned in a flood; why were they drowned? For us. It’s for us to study. אין פורענות באה לעולם אלא בשביל ישראל – Any misfortune that comes upon the world is for the instruction of Yisrael (Yevamos 63a). And Rashi says כדי ליראם – in order to cause them to fear and to do teshuvah.

And therefore when the hurricane came upon the people in Southern Florida it was a lesson not only for them. It’s for the whole world to learn. And if we don’t learn anything so Hakadosh Baruch Hu says “I have destroyed so much property and even some lives for a purpose and the purpose was not being fulfilled; so לשוא הכיתי את בניכם, in vain did I smite.

TAPE # 893 (September 1992)