When it started to rain so incredibly hard again in Jerusalem yesterday, out of rainy season, which ends at Pesach (as per our daily prayers), what came to mind was Rebbe Nachman’s teaching that a flood of atheism would come to the world, and that even ‘big’ rabbis would have atheism literally ‘dripping out of their pockets’.
Then, the horrible news came in about the teens who’d been swept away by a flash-flood in the desert, and the incredible pictures (like the river flowing down Yoel Salomon Street above, or Yaffo below, in the very heart of the pedestrianized centre of down-town Jerusalem) started going viral on my daughters’ phones, and we all sat in our flat a little awe-struck at Hashem’s power and might.
A little bit of rain can do an awful lot of damage, God forbid, and lead to terrible destruction.
This morning, I started looking through Rebbe Nachman’s books to see if he said anything else about floods. He did. I’m bringing it below, and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I read it:
TZADDIK (the English translation of Chayey Moharan), #417
(In the section called: Avoidance of Philosophy and the Importance of Faith)
There were rumours that the Czar wanted to introduce a number of decrees against the Jews, including a regulation requiring Jewish children to be taught secular studies and foreign languages.
Regarding this decree, the Rebbe said that the Jews should call a fast, and cry out to God more vehemently than against all the other decrees. This decree was more calamitous than any other evil in the world, since it would turn the children against religion completely – as have indeed seen, because of our many sins.
The brutal fact is that anyone who enters this path becomes totally estranged from religion. Many God take pity on his people Israel, and save a remnant of all their throngs.
The Rebbe once said:
“Oy! Oy to us! That we do not devote the least thought to how we can save our children and the generations to come from these evil, storm-ridden waters, which threaten to engulf the entire world, God forbid.
"For this is the only way to describe the spread of secular studies, the study of foreign languages and philosophy.”
May Hashem comfort all the families who lost their children in this terrible disaster, and may we as a people wholeheartedly return to the path of simple emuna and Torah observance, so that we won’t have to go through any more of these awful tragedies.