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Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy and Sandy Hook

More than one email arrived in my inbox asking me to comment on the seemingly strange coincidence that 2 major events in the northeastern United States within 2 months of each other both had the name "Sandy".  What message is Hashem trying to convey to us with the double-use of this word in 2 very tragic events? 

The short answer is: I don't know.

And many will be satisfied by that answer.

However, for those who are not, I will attempt to give an explanation - not one that I believe is Emet La'amito - but one that Hashem put in my head, and might help some people understand this better, for whatever it's worth.  I've already received some interesting ideas from some people, especially from those who are trying to promote Aliya, but I have a different take on it.

Hurricane Sandy's landfall on the East Coast occurred during the second week of Heshvan, a mere few days after those in Eretz Yisrael started praying for rain.  In Israel, Sephardic Jews started Bareich Aleinu and Ashkenazic Jews started Vetein Tal Umatar Livracha on 7 Heshvan, and Hurricane Sandy hit New York and vicinity on 13 Heshvan, while forming days earlier.

And the devastation from the hurricane was mainly from the water, which destroyed homes and flooded basements with irreparable damage.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred during Hanukka, when we were lighting candles with fire.  And the madman who caused this did so with gun-fire.

On Rosh Hashana, many Jews recite the poem called Untaneh Tokef, which includes the famous words, "Who by water? Who by fire?"  We now know part of the answer for this year.

Interestingly, there were exactly 6 weeks from Rosh Hashana until Hurricane Sandy.  And there were just over 6 weeks from landfall of Hurricane Sandy until the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary.

The name "Sandy" connotes "sand", as I had said previously.  An interesting property of sand is that sand is something that both calms water down (see Yirmiya 5:22) and also retards fires.  That is what works when things are in their natural state.  When things are not in their natural state, the water and the fire break through the sand and destroy that which is decreed for them to destroy.

Perhaps, we can say that Hashem is saying Sand-y, i.e., the possessive - My sand - the sand is Mine, says Hashem.  Hashem is in charge of nature, and when He wants natural defense mechanisms to work, He will make them work, while when He wants natural defense mechanisms to fail, He will make them fail.  There is no purely natural defense mechanism - it all comes from Hashem.  As it says in Tehillim 127:1: "except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain".

This is why many of those who tried to sand-bag and board-up their homes during the hurricane did their Hishtadlut, but ultimately did so in vain.  And regarding Sandy Hook Elementary, we must do whatever we can to prevent such things in the future, but we are ultimately not in control.  Only Hashem is.  It is His sand.  Being a member of society will not necessarily prevent that person from becoming a madman.  In this case, the fire was not retarded by the sand.  It is Hashem's sand to remove and He did so at this time.

Why at this time?  Being that we are in the times very close to Mashiah, we are currently not in a natural state.  Perhaps, Hashem is telling us that all the natural defense mechanisms that we have taken for granted throughout our lives may not work for us any longer.  Maybe Hashem is trying to tell us that from now on, we have to rely more on prayer than on whatever Hishtadlut we may have done. 

This is my take on it.  Take it for whatever it's worth.  May Hashem comfort the families of the victims of these horrific tragedies, and may we know no more sorrow.


At Mon Dec 17, 05:04:00 PM 2012, Anonymous singkil the nations said...

"When Hashem gave Torah at Mount Sinai, all Nature stopped. It was absolute silence. Everything was abnormal. What's the significance of that and why should the Nations hear this? The Torah is the inner life of everything physical. The inner life of everything is Hashem. The outer reality and inner reality have One Ruler. Hashem had to stop Nature in its tracks, for a moment, so to speak: thunder could be seen, lightning could be heard, their senses were totally disorientated. Ultimately, Nature is a means of Divine expression, but it has no inherent power." ~ Rebbitzen Tzipporah Heller

"Being that we are in the times very close to Mashiah, we are currently not in a natural state." ~ Yeranen Yaakov

"a person or society that transgress laws of nature will be punished by means of nature." ~ Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi Ashlag

At Mon Dec 17, 06:27:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Jews were victims in the hurricane and the youngest victim at Sandy Hook was a Jew.

At Mon Dec 17, 11:33:00 PM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rav Fish Shlita addressed the Sandy reference at the time of the hurricane.

The short of it is that sand is the driest type of earth,containing the least amount of water, which is symbolic of an abundance of physicality and a dearth of spirituality.
In Likutei Sichos the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that Avrohom Avenu's outreach to the Angels ( (when he asked them to wipe the sand off their feet), shows the obligation on Jewish people to spread Yiddishkeit even in a spiritual "Sandy" environment.
Perhaps that is the lesson for us from both "Sandys": to increase in Torah and Mitzvos and acts of Chesed, loving kindness, which we see has happened in actuality in response to both Sandys.

At Tue Dec 18, 01:31:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the natural disasters that HaRav Kaduri, z"l was referring to when before he died pleaded for all Jews to return "HOME" to Eretz Yisrael are becoming more prevalent and there is no connection between Sandy and Sandy Hook.

The simple reasons for these events happening to Jews l'chutz l'aretz is we don't have the divine protection of Eretz HaKodesh. To think otherwise is to think contrary to Torah.

At Tue Dec 18, 02:26:00 AM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Daisy Stern of Israel Truth Times pointed out to me that Chu"l (Chutz LaAretz) is spelled identically to Chol which means Sand. This is her perspective on the events.

Chol can also mean mundane and is related to Chilul which means profane.

As far as my perspective so far I have only commented on it in the most recent post on my blog about Chanukah in response to a question about it. The event is so ghastly that I thought it appropriate to wait at least through the Shiva week to discuss it more openly. Baruch Dayan Emeth, and may HaMakom comfort those amongst the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

At Tue Dec 18, 08:22:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that within Newtown is "Palestine" (Google Palestine Newtown, CT 06470), roads named Mt. Nebo, Palestine, Galilee Way, and Ox Hills.

Also, "Newtown" = Neapolis = Nablus = Shechem.

Looks like signs pointing to Yosef mainly, but if so what do they mean.

At Tue Dec 18, 08:41:00 AM 2012, Blogger Tidbits of Torah said...

Rabbi Lazer Broder also has a post on this

"Sandy" in Hebrew, together with the numerical equivalents of each letter of its name is sin(300)-nun(50)-dalet(4)-yud(10), which in Hebrew looks like this: שנדי - it's total numerical equivalent = 364.
"The Satan" or HaSatan in Hebrew, the angel of death and the accusing angel of stern judgment, together with the numerical equivalents of each letter of its name is hey(5)-sin(300)-tet(9)-nun(50), which in Hebrew looks like this: השטן - it's total numerical equivalent is 364, exactly like Sandy!
We can clearly see that the culprit of both tragedies is clearly the abovementioned angel of death, hiding behind the name of Sandy. Both the Zohar and the Gemara tell us that when he strikes more than once, it's a sign of stern judgment that is still hovering above whichever group of people - whether a family, a town or a nation - that has been hit.

At Tue Dec 18, 09:39:00 AM 2012, Blogger vincent said...

These links seem to suggest that Uncle 364, and his prince, and or powers that be, down below, seem to have some advange knowledge somehow of these Sandy events

At Tue Dec 18, 09:40:00 AM 2012, Blogger vincent said...

At Tue Dec 18, 10:19:00 AM 2012, Blogger vincent said...

This is not an (100%) endorsement of the content from me, it is just to let you know what happens, or what people make up about what happens, which tells you also what is happening with American people.
(a bit eager to comment I must admit)
G'd bless.

At Tue Dec 18, 10:34:00 AM 2012, Blogger yaak said...


Newtown = Nablus (Shechem), but if we're using foreign languages, Newtown also = Carthage, Tunisia and Novogorod, Russia.

Then again, Yerushalayim is called by Yeshaya 1:21 Kirya Ne'emana, which the Pesikta says means קרתא חדתא, and one explanation of that is that the נא from נאמנה is really "New" in Greek.

At Tue Dec 18, 12:03:00 PM 2012, Blogger Neshama said...

We all see things through the prism of our mind's eye (however we are educated and informed).

I particularly gravitate toward Rabbi Brody's clarification. He usually is so positive and uplifting, that I tend to think this post actually came from his "Rabbi".

My response is
"G-d Help Us!"
and I happen to believe it was a 'warning' to the Jews.

At Wed Dec 19, 05:01:00 AM 2012, Blogger Daniela said...

Am I the only one who finds it disturbing and rude, that videos with female dancers' exhibitions should get linked on the very line above the word "Torah"?

Neshama, please elucidate to us who is the "Rabbi" (I notice you use quotation marks) you are referring to.

At Wed Dec 19, 06:20:00 AM 2012, Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Approximately 1 1/2 to 2 years ago we had a shailah for Rav Shalom Arush, of whom we ask shailot, about family members traveling to America over the summer. Rav Arush told my wife to call back after Pesach for an answer. So when I called him after Pesach, I found out that Rav Arush was dealing with a medical issue for which he was temporarily incapacitated. So the Chut Shel Chessed office specifically told me to ask Rav Lazer Brody who was filling in for Rav Arush in his absence to answer shailot. Of course I had already known Rav Brody for years already. So it was not an issue for me to speak to Rav Brody again and ask. But Rav Brody's Rav is obviously Rav Shalom Arush Shlita. He also has particular reverence for the Melitzer Rebbe of Ashdod.

I have no idea what the quotation marks are for. I am just answering the question about who is Rav Brody's Rav.

At Wed Dec 19, 10:32:00 AM 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, very interesting
Also, "Newtown" = Neapolis = Nablus = Shechem.

Looks like signs pointing to Yosef mainly, but if so what do they mean.
IMHO it has to do with Yosef (the parasha Miketz) and also "Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver said. There were as many as 11 shots on the bodies he examined. " also point to Yosef as #11 as with the other Sandy that was on October 29 (2+9). I see from 9/11 a lot of 11 - see the book by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis Life Is a Test.


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