Can Prayer Change the Climate?

Instead of acknowledging the link between climate change and obedience to God, many today are swayed by global warming alarmists

| Topics: Climate Change, Natural Disasters
Can prayer change the climate?
Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Jews who pray are reminded every day that their love for God and their fellow man, which is demonstrated in their adherence to His commandments, affects the climate. Twice a day they recite the blessings of the Shema, made of four passages from the Bible.

In addition to the daily prayers, the Shema passages are written on parchments hidden inside the Tefillin, the phylacteries. Two of them are written on the Mezuza parchment. These four passages are Exodus 13:1-10, Exodus 13:11-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Deuteronomy 11:13-21. The two found in every Mezuza are the ones from Deuteronomy.

The portion that interests us most in this context is the one taken from Deut. 11, which reads:

“If you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

“Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain, and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.

At least as far as the Land of Israel is concerned, its weather is linked to obedience to God’s Law. Disobedience impacts the entire local ecosystem, to the degree of threatening to turn the land to desert, unable to support life. Jewish sources tell of cases of severe droughts, when only the prayers of righteous people saved the day.

But today even the faithful are struggling with this idea that obeying and performing the commandments has anything to do with climate. There can be many reasons for this, not least the fact that Israel has developed elaborate ways of water production, including massive seawater desalination plants, all of which makes people think we need no longer trust in God for the rains. Either way, one hardly hears anyone raising this issue of the link between climate change and obedience to God.

Instead, many are swayed by the climate change alarmists who put their trust in new ideologies for solving Israel’s particular climate problems, which persist despite all our advancements. In many ways these ideologies have become the new gods in whom we trust. But false gods have never helped. They never heard man’s cry, and they never will, no matter under what name they come.

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