MembersDoes God Make Natural Disasters? And How Israel Teaches Us to Take Our Lumps

A look at natural disasters, God’s hand in them, and how a reborn Israel fits into the picture

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: Natural Disasters
Israeli search and rescue teams pull survivors from the rubble after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.
Israeli search and rescue teams pull survivors from the rubble after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. Photo: IDF Spokesman

Israel is known for many things, not least of which is being first on the scene after another nation suffers a natural disaster. Despite its small size, Israel can be found providing disproportionate assistance following earthquakes, tsunamis and all manner of other calamities anywhere in the world.

The Jewish state, the IDF Homefront Command and the country’s various aid organizations are today recognized as experts in search and rescue, and in providing emergency medical treatment on a mass scale.

This expertise has been honed over decades of helping others and dealing with catastrophes here at home.

But why is Israel always ready and eager to help? True, Judaism teaches the notion of Tikkun Olam and that Israel must help make the world right and whole. There’s also a strong commitment to saving life in general.

Perhaps it also has something to do with Israel’s own experiences with natural disasters over the course of millennia.

We live in a broken world made that way by man’s sin. Many are reluctant to define natural disasters as direct...

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