Chasing Away The Sandman – The Hurricane Sandy Wakeup Call

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6 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    If rebuilding is done in such a way and such a place that the new construction could wash away again, what will have been accomplished? Proper sea walls, revised building codes, and paying attention to elevation above sea level all come to mind.

    Perhaps, Mayor Bloomberg and other politicians can focus their attention on their jobs in this regard, and not so much on trivia.

  2. A.Schreiber says:

    The majority of orthodox Jews dont build “mansions”. Even the wealthier among us, who could easily build the type of mansions featured in magazines and lifestyle shows, dont usually do this – they simply build nice homes. People work hard and have every right to enjoy what they have earned. Many such men are already giving away enormous sums of money to charity. Dont think for a second its so easy to just give away money.

  3. Tal Benschar says:

    Is it not obscene that, as I heard just the other day, an Orthodox synagogue in the NY area is completing a new building that will cost close to 50 million dollars?

    No, it isn’t. It’s kavod shomayim.

  4. Shua Cohen says:

    > “…the obstinacy of his generation…”

    Thank you and thank you again, Rabbi Oppenheimer, for having the courage to publish this essay. Myself, I have been cowed into silence by the heated reproaches I’ve received from virtually everyone that I’ve discussed this with…for suggesting even the POSSIBILITY that the Ribbono Shel Olam is broadcasting to Bnei Torah in America that it’s time to end the galus and go home to Eretz Yisrael. They will have none of it!

    The leadership of the Torah diaspora remain silent about any call to “aliyah” in our day, and instead speak incessantly about rebuilding their institutions and communities bigger and better than ever. Summarily dismissed is the admonition of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld z”tl, who wrote a century ago: “Many times have I directed that the religious Jews in the diaspora be instructed that anyone who has the ability to come to Eretz Yisroel and doesn’t, will have to account for his FAILURE to do so in HaOlam Haba.” (Ha’ish Al Hachoma, vol. II, p. 149)

    One should also be aware of the following words of HaRav HaGaon Simcha Wasserman zt”l (in Reb Simcha Speaks, Artscroll, 1994):

    “Yaakov Avinu said to his sons, ‘I will show you what will happen in the end of days. There will be a ‘call!’ Hashem will just call us and we’ll come.’ This is what the Ribbono Shel Olam is showing us IN OUR DAYS. This is what so many of us have experienced. WE SEE IT.”

    Except, by the thousands, we refuse to see it at all. Let’s face it: the vast majority of Bnei Torah in America just don’t want to leave their goldena medina. They will come up with the most far-fetched rationales to justify remaining in America, and will zealously put down anyone who challenges their voluntary choice to stay there. I fear that the future does not bold well for Bnei Torah in America who refuse to accept that Hashem is broadcasting loudly and clearly: “THIS year in Yerushalayim!”

  5. Rami says:

    I think that chaggais (1:4) words ring out so clearly to our generation. דהַעֵת לָכֶם אַתֶּם לָשֶׁבֶת בְּבָתֵּיכֶם סְפוּנִים וְהַבַּיִת הַזֶּה חָרֵב׃

    We have been sitting in our nice homes too long while our land and mikdash sits and waits.

    Let us take the current events to consider what we can each do to help in our own way to build our community.

  6. tzippi says:

    I will take any mussar given by a responsible rav or leader, etc. to heart. What disturbs me is when the kids try this trick at home. Let me stress that I Rabbi Oppenheimer can and should give us hadracha, and we should be open to being receptive. I still can’t help but share some thoughts, and I pray, respectfully.

    If anyone is able to pull things together to make it home to E”Y, ashreichem. (Assuming, ch”v, Moshiach hasn’t come yet.) Knowing some case studies of Sandy victims, I can’t see them easily walking away with the insurance money and moving to E”Y. They still have mortgages (like a dear friend who recently bought a cheap-by-NY-standards fixer upper) and children at vulnerable ages to move, not to mention parnasa training and experience that might not transfer to E”Y so quickly.

    OK, I’m going to violate my own rules and suggest something: when the big tragedies happen, we all band together so, so beautifully. You can even see b/w, and maybe some color proof in some of the Jewish weekly special excerpts. It reminds me of the intro to Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky’s new anthology, featuring what he calls “a million dollar picture” of Rav Don Segal shlit’a. (His theme is along the lines that just as we can gain inspiration from such pictures, Hashem has His own photo album and we can all, in our own ways, add to the nachas collection.) (Sorry, Rabbi P., if I’m putting words in your mouth.)

    Maybe we can create a new album, that we won’t be able to see down here, but that will just as surely exist: let’s whole-heartedly enjoy each other’s simchos. Let’s let go of the class envy and if we can’t fully fargin yenem’s new car and addition, let’s be grateful that apparently the economy’s picking up. Maybe this is an essential part of the avoda Hashem wants from us now. Come together for the good, and maybe there’ll be more of it sent our way.

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