Recent Earthquake Reasons Given
The ישבעו מטובך newsletter gives a couple reasons for the recent earthquakes.
It prefaces its remarks by saying:
We are not, Heaven forbid, professing to nail in reasons and rationales for the conduct of the Creator for it is closed and hidden and no one knows the Knowledge of Above. However, our sages have already taught us from the words "בראשית ברא" that Hashem looked in the Torah and created the world, and we only have the words of Ben Amram [Moshe Rabbeinu] and Haza"l for the Shechina was speaking together with them.It then goes on to say that the gemara in Shabbat 105b (Daf | Text | English) says:
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: He who is slothful to lament a Sage deserves to be buried alive, because it is said, And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim; on the north of the mountain of Gaash:21 this teaches that the mountain raged against them to slay them.22And even though there were many eulogies for Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L, since people were too busy preparing for municipal elections, people didn't eulogize him enough.
And the Yerushalmi Berachot 9:2 (Daf | Yedid Nefesh) says:
Why do earthquakes come? ... The rabbis say they come because of Mahloket [as it says (Zecharia 14:5)] "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azel; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah" [and King Uzziah caused Mahloket by wanting to act like the high priest].And the Aggadat Eliyahu on the Yerushalmi explains:
There are 2 ways to connect earthquakes to Mahloket: 1) Mahloket is the nullification of peace. The nature of peace is to keep everything where it should be, while Mahloket is the opposite. Therefore, when there is Mahloket, the world also shakes, and the earth isn't kept where it should be. 2) Mahloket causes separation between people, which is what earthquakes do as Midah Keneged Midah by cracking buildings in half and causing them to fall, Heaven forbid.And due to the municipal elections, there was terrible Mahloket among even Haredi Jews in Israel, so much so that someone went to the extent of attacking Rav Shteinman Shlit"a [YY - although, from the family's statement mentioned in the previous post, it seems that the attack is unrelated to the elections, but nevertheless, there was terrible Mahloket even without this incident], woe is to the generation that this has occurred in its days.
It then mentions a story:
When the Imrei Emet of Gur visited Yerushalayim, the newspapers were predicting an earthquake, but said that "it should be a small quake and there is no room for fear and trepidation". The Imrei Emet said, "HKB"H brings earthquakes SO THAT we should fear Him, and you're saying that there is no room for fear?!?! You could say that danger is not expected, but we definitely need to fear - that is the purpose of the earthquake! [As it says] 'and God hath so made it, that men should fear before Him.'"
(More about the earthquakes in the next post BE"H BL"N from Rav Fish.)