Those who lived through it will never forget it. Those who did not could never imagine it.
Photos taken April 17, 2011
Before we continue, let us observe a moment of silence for all those who lost their lives and continue to suffer as a result of the Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.
Problems of Theodicy: Manmade vs Acts of God
How do we explain why bad things happen to good people? Or even more troubling, when an event takes the lives of scores of people at once mixing everyone together?
God does not want us to understand. Because if we ever understood, we would be forced to accept that bad things happen to good people, and God does not want us to accept those bad things. He wants us not to understand, so that we will fight against the bad and the injustices of this world, and that is why there is no answer to that question. God has arranged that we shall never have an answer to it.
-Lord Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks zt"l
Post following the 2005 Tsunami: https://rabbisacks.org/god-asks-us-not-to-understand-but-to-heal/
E-mail from Kacie Leviton on her experience:
Question: What does it say about Judaism that we recite a blessing as a direct result of a tragedy?
My neighbor's material needs are my spiritual needs.
Rabbi Israel Salanter (19th c. Lithuania)
Although Noah was righteous and blameless in his actions, he was not the ideal model of righteousness. [The text specifies that] “Noah walked with God,” but not with other people – he was not concerned with humanity, nor with the larger world more generally. His righteousness was only directed inward, toward himself and his family. ... When he was commanded by God to construct the ark, he took many years to build it board by board and nail by nail, yet it never crossed his mind that there might be a way to avert God’s decree and save the world from destruction.
Rabbi Moshe Alshech (16th c. Turkey)
A young man once came to Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. ‘Rebbe, I can no longer believe in God. I can’t believe in God because the world is so filled with pain, suffering, ugliness and evil. How could there be a God in such a world?!’ ‘Why do you care?’ asked the Rebbe. ‘What do you mean, why do I care? How could I not care? Innocent people suffer; the world is ruled by cruel people. Why does God allow it?’
Again, the Rebbe inquired, ‘But why do you care?’
The young man screamed out: ‘Someone has to care! Someone has to see the pain of the world and cry out! If not, all the suffering is meaningless. I care because I want a better world, not only for my children but for all children!’
The Rebbe responded, ‘If you care that much, then God exists. You see, God exists in your caring.’”