Lessons From the Erev Yom Kippur Tornado

Twenty four hours before Yom Kippur, two tornados hit Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island tearing down and uprooting over 2,000 trees.

What lessons did you learn or hear from you Rav after this awesome display of Hashem’s might right before the day of judgment?

8 comments on “Lessons From the Erev Yom Kippur Tornado

  1. Not to leave Tashlich to the last minute:)??
    We have the minhag to do it on Thursday (13 MIddos in Selichos of the day) and it was not so easy!

  2. To Bob Miller #5: To gain a greater appreciation of the miracles which G-d performed for us, and the rachamim which softened the din.

    G-d forbid, the tornadoes in 2007 and 2010 “could have” struck the predominantly Jewish areas of Staten Island and Brooklyn. G-d forbid, thousands (if not millions) of dollars’ worth of damage “could have” been done to Jewish mosdos, homes and businesses. G-d forbid, dozens of Jewish lives “could have” been lost; hundreds of Jews “could have” been injured.

    This is definitely NOT to say that it’s OK if someone not Jewish gets injured. Of course not. To the contrary. Among non-Jews, there was only one fatality in 2007 and one fatality in 2010. Tell me that isn’t an outright miracle: a tornado strikes Brooklyn with its population of nearly three million people, one of the most densely crowded counties on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, and there is only one fatality. Not once, but twice. Once again, it’s an outright miracle. Compare to G-d forbid, other extreme weather events (the most extreme being the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami with over 250,000 dead).

  3. In August 2007, a tornado hit Staten Island and then Brooklyn:

    http://blog.silive.com/advanceupdate/2007/08/terrible_storm_hits_staten_isl.html

    http://www.nyc.gov/test/oem/html/news/07_09_25_brooklyn_tornado.shtml

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/08/nyregion/08cnd-weather.html

    The SI tornado came within a block or two of the house my parents moved out of in 2005.

    By the way, I don’t quite see the point in identifying the ravaged areas according to ethnicity, frumkeit quotient, etc. This kind of “analysis” goes well beyond our mini-understanding.

  4. My son-in-law was driving me home on Thursday night, September 16, after the tornado hit. Our car went through that part of Queens near Jewel Avenue and Main Street, Flushing which went through the most devastation. As my son-in-law remarked, “It looked like a war zone.” Trees were down everywhere, in many places blocking the roads completely, on a few streets the downed trees were blocking the entrances to houses and had damaged parked cars. There is a big frum community near Kew Garden Hills and Main Street, Flushing; many are Bukharian Jews, also other Sephardim plus Ashkenazim, many Israelis. Thank G-d that there was only one fatality, it could have been much, much worse.

    It should also be noted that the tornado path in Staten Island hit the Tottenville neighborhood and not the frum community of Willowbrook. Also, the tornado which hit Brooklyn missed the well-known neighborhoods of Flatbush, Boro Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg,as well as the Russian-Jewish areas of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay and the smaller Seagate and Canarsie communities. It struck Clinton Hill, not a frum Jewish community. Fortunately, no one in Brooklyn was killed or even injured: it was a true miracle.

    Please note that this is the second time in less than a decade that a tornado has hit Brooklyn (the last time was August 2007) and both times only one indirect fatality, and no one else hurt.

  5. Over 2,000 trees fell and one person was killed.

    My Rav remarked about the remarkable display of Hashem’s din, while at the same time there was chesed evidenced by the fact that there were few major injuries.

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