Taking Sandy Personally

The true answer to, “What does it all mean?”

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Comments (43)

(35) nisyasukamto gems, November 16, 2012 4:26 PM

god warns us

It tells us that there is a mega power than everything we see everyday..be patient...

(34) nisya, November 16, 2012 3:09 PM

I hope hurricane sandy makes us realize that there is a mega power in this life.. It is like a indonesia tsunami.

(33) Anonymous, November 14, 2012 1:30 PM

My take away from Hurricane Sandy is that one's circumstances can change on a dime. I also learned to appreciate my blessings, of which there are many.

(32) William, November 11, 2012 1:02 PM

Don't Forsake the Poor!

Sandy - Big Deal - 16,000 children die each day from the failed economic system we have created. Americans consumed 30% of the world resources and make up less than 5% of the world popultation. Jews and Christians are both guilty of the sins of colonialism and captialism. So Sandy Big Deal, A big Deal should be the 1000's of children that died TODAY - from Famine.

(31) Sandra, November 9, 2012 11:53 AM

Wake up America Wake up!!!

I believe God wants America to wake up and understand that he is God and that only through and by his power he can cause people to acknowledge him we go about our daily lives and sometimes just sometimes we take God for granted and when things like this happen we tend to blame God instead of say God help me and help me to never ever take you for granted again..right now all of those who are affected by the storm must ask themselves how thankful were you before the storm.did you have an aught with someone that you said you know what I will forgive them..did you lose someone in hurricane sandy did you tell someone that you loved them or did you argue and bicker fuss and fight before sandy...a lot of these questions and more come to mind but one thing is for sure now its a noreaster what is God trying to tell New York and New Jersey and well the whole upper east coast did you feel sympathy for those in the southern region who faced multiple storms were your prayers for their family..what I am trying to say is all of us are faced with tragedy and triumph but New Yorkers and New Jerseyins have a strong will and a strong heart and with the strong will and strong heart you must realize that though its tough right now my faith in God will see me through this I am going to get through this and by God I will never as long as I live take anyone or anything for granted again..you have your life your health and your strength it could have been worse God knows that water wall could have been 50 feet high but God said no..did anyone notice the rainbow in the sky after it rained and you say if God loves you why did this have to happen..well you being still here is the reason he loves you and while many say why did he take away my home...because you need a new one...why did I lose my car because you will get another one..he is making a way for all of the old to be now a new thing in your life..its going to be okay God loves you he cares for you and well the best is on the way amen

(30) Anonymous, November 7, 2012 7:35 PM

It's telling us not to live near the water.....Living close to the ocean or a lake might eventually harm us, because of constant change in the weather, and how water reacts to a storm, with violent wind which causes hurricanes..

(29) TMay, November 7, 2012 4:35 AM

Hurricane Sandy

Regarding Hurricane Sandy: I live 3,000 miles away. So from here, what I learned is that IMHO Mayor Bloomberg and Chris Christie are lousy leaders.

(28) Chanie, November 6, 2012 4:44 PM


I live my life in constant (hopefully) conscious living. So, having an episode like Sandy is not outrageous for me, it is just another form of awareness. And I learned from my personal experience some little things that I hope to integrate in my everyday life. Some of them are, for example, Chesed; most people in my area froze in the dark while I was from the percentage of fortunate one's who managed to get a hold of a generator (and yes, gas to run it). So, I took into my hachnusas orchim my neighbor who has five little children. My freezer was filled with three other neighbors stuff and a few other neighbors were able to use my power somewhat too. I also learned to be more aware of the electric bills and undertook to try to cut my bills by simply being more aware "jewish money" should not be wasted......Last and foremost I realized how calm my little ones were the first two days when we were in the dark with flashlights..... there were no sibling rivalry; just playing nicely in the dark for extended hours. We need to go back to Hashem's Simple Nature and appreciate it.

(27) Anonymous, November 6, 2012 4:05 PM

Maybe the message is that I lack trust in G-d and have foresaken his gift of the the Land for illusory and transient comforts. If we believe that G-d can take care of us, he can certainly do so in Israel, unless we do not trust him. Do I trust myself enough to trust HIM? I wonder?

(26) Jim, November 6, 2012 3:10 PM

Sandy harracane reason

The president did not even care he went after his campaigning And not to the disaster areas he did not function as a president no fuel, no generators and other needs was neglected did not function he was incompetent president this part was easier than his 4 years and he did not care over all.

jeanie, November 6, 2012 4:38 PM

What TV - newspaper or erbsite are looking at man??? Did you not see Governor Chris Christi go on TV and praise the President for getting there so soon and getting FEMA money to them? Why lie for no reason? You need to stop.

(25) Michael Fenton, November 6, 2012 2:55 PM

human presumption

We make a huge presumption that it is all about us. It is not. God created all the forces of nature, most or which is beneficial to us but some catastrophic to us. When the sun shines and the temperature is 75 F, Do we say, "what did I do that is so worthwhile that I deserve this balmy day" No we don't and we should not ask the same question when the weather becomes disastrous.

Anonymous, November 6, 2012 6:22 PM

Good point

jane gold, November 6, 2012 9:18 PM

its always about us

It is not a presumption, whatever the jews do, whether it is good or bad affects the world constantly. This storm, which by the way happened on the same day as the mabul, is clearly a message for us and it is our job to figure out what that message is and do something about it.

goldy, November 7, 2012 2:16 AM

we need to think!

Of course our thoughts should be directed to God on a balmy spring day! anything He does that affects you personaly was part of his plan. Its not by chance that you made it just in time for the green light, nor is it by chance that you missed the green light. Its not by chance that you had a pleasant day, nor is it by chance that you we affected by/ heard about hurricane sandy. everything that goes on in the world (both in the small detail of our personal life, and in the larger scheme of world events) is for each individual to think about the message that God is sending to him through that incident.

(24) Wilma, November 6, 2012 2:53 PM


I was amazed at the pictures of the rainbows after Sandy. Vermont, Brooklyn, down to Miami…stunning rainbows. I could only think of Beresheit 9 and G-d's promise to never destroy the whole world with flood. The world was full of violence, and He washed it. Maybe He was saying: I did it before, I can do it again! Teshuvah!

(23) Anonymous, November 6, 2012 2:50 PM

Thank you Rabbi Salomon for commenting on this calamity with wisdom and sensitivity.

I appreciate Rabbi Salomon's words and think that this outlook of making it "personal" holds true for all tragic events. We no longer have prophets and none of us can know Hashem's message for the world. However, each of us can profit by reflecting on our personal lives and what meaning this event holds for us.

(22) George Mims, November 6, 2012 2:34 PM

Excellent homily on living out grace and mercy in our lives.

Investments abound at every corner of our lives. Having lived through many devastating hurricanes on both the lower east coast and the southwest Gulf Coast, I know the feelings well! Moving on is essential to our health and joy!

(21) Anonymous, November 6, 2012 10:41 AM

A promise

I keep,wondering if there will be a rainbow at the end of this historic event . The lessons are very personal as well as I think a lesson about global warming, our use of energy, what real energy is etc. Fear is crippling. I for one pray for the strength to keep from being part of the problem . Yes, I am afraid. I pray for courage and I look to our Rabbis and Yeshivas for guidance.Baruch Hashem .

(20) SusanE, November 6, 2012 6:45 AM

My Lesson? - Be Prepared.

With hurricane Sandy there was at least 5 days warning to the East Coast, New York and New Jersey with evacuation alerts. We were warned to prepare in Western PA so I did. My small bag was packed, hand crank radio at the ready, money, matches, batterys, auto full of gasoline and blankets, enough food, water for several days. We weren't flooded this time. So, the lessons I learned weren't from Sandy. I learned a lesson in 1996 after home and business were flooded and there was no warning. I learned from cancer, and death and diseases that kill and cripple, that we don't have control over what happens to us. I learned that we should be prepared at all times so we are not helpless against storms, tsunamis, fires, robberys, earthquakes, war, political unrest, all the things that happen beyond one persons' control and there are no warnings to avert the disaster. Decide beforehand how you will handle a tragedy or a disaster, because it will happen to you. Will you go to pieces and be absolutely no good to anyone and become part of the problem? Or will you handle what G-d gives to you with a dignity and calmness to help yourself and help others? Prepare for it and figure it out before it happens.

(19) Debbie, November 6, 2012 3:21 AM

We have to help eachother.

We found out on this eve of election day that the only resource we can fully depend on is our community. The way organizations, shuls and schools are mobilizing to help others is truly inspiring. Families with power are taking in families without it, doing their laundry, cooking meals, you name it. It's a kidush Hashem.

(18) Anonymous, November 5, 2012 6:28 PM


Is the message not clear?!?! GET YOURSELVES OUT OF AMERICA BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. G-d is giving us a clear warning. We must move to Israel NOW. We think we have it so good in America, but it's all an illusion. We must take Hashem's warning, and leave galut NOW. Because we don't want to be there when Hashem brings the next catastrophe. Excuse me for being blunt, but are we all not BLIND?!

Shai Weiss, November 6, 2012 6:49 AM

Talk nicely!

re: comment #19 anonymous - this is Onas Devorim wronging people with words isn't it? People have suffered and you are giving these unsolicited pieces of advice whilst they are trying to cope. Are you a Tzaddik or 'balei ruach hakosdesh' have Divine insight that you can say such things especially to those who have just endured so much? Not to say it would be good to go mercifully to The Holy Land?

Chavi, November 6, 2012 2:00 PM

You cannot leave galut, because no matter where in the world you are, including Eretz Yisroel, you will still be in galut. That will only end when Moshiach will come and Hashem's word, not the word ofsinners, will rule the holy land.

(17) Anonymous, November 5, 2012 6:27 PM

San Francisco

Sandy could be a Ca earthquake, As of today I am counting my Blessings And praying for NY

(16) Chavi, November 5, 2012 1:11 PM

Every person needs to ask himself "Why is Gd trying to get our attention? Do we ignore Him in our daily lives? The whole purpose of creation is for us to have a relationship with Him! Each person needs to think about what he must do in order to strengthen his relationship with, and come closer to, his Creator.

(15) Anonymous, November 5, 2012 5:59 AM


Its a messsage to reflect and to see all that I DO HAVE and not what I DON'T HAVE. To be grateful to H-shem for the little things, as we see they are not so little. It is a message to me that we need to be more united and to try to put bygones aside and see what's crucial and important in life. And instead of asking and requesting or complaining at times to G-d, I will be more grateful and appreciative ,and verbalize it in a prayer on a daily basis for all the kindesses in my life. Thank you H-shem!

(14) Anonymous, November 4, 2012 10:45 PM

My rov told me never to try to second guess what the Ribbono shel Olom wants, however obvious it might seem. Instead, to try to improve one's behavior and always try to do the right thing. This advice has followed me through difficult situations and complex decisions. You have said the same. Thank you for your comments.

(13) eliyahu essas, November 4, 2012 10:05 PM

Let us each share his personal lesson

Dear Yaakov, your presentation was short and wise. As usual! You also asked to share personal lessons from Sandy. May be I didn't get it, but I thought you would share your personal lesson. Or perhaps, I missed it :( In any case, thank you for your very useful videos!

(12) Bill Alley, November 4, 2012 9:40 PM

Sandy's effect - can I ever relate...

The past six years have been riddled with loss - many loved ones passing on, the closest of people some of them, suddenly gone. Possessions, gone, up to about 90% cannot be recovered. Living among friends and family lo these past four years. Wages, reduced to third world standard, four years running. Capable, able, but without the blessing of others - destitute. My world was chipped away; for the storm victims, theirs was scrubbed out. Such drastic change causes one to shut down or 'go numb' for some time to attempt survival. Grief and loss of this magnitude re-teaches everything. How does one do overwhelmed? Where does one go when one finds useless rubble? In this upheaval, how does God fit now? Answers will not come at once; each tragic piece will unravel every segment of its truth. When one realizes 'home' is no longer a street address, one understands we are 'strangers and sojourners' as our beloved ancestors knew from the earliest of days. Our 'home' is ultimately with He who made us spiritual and that is our true journey - spiritual. The displacement of what is left is even worse. One never knows where the simplest of things exists of what can be salvaged. But, one realizes what salvaging is and what counts as salvageable. Lives are salvageable and savable far beyond things. Things are replaceable, maybe not to the former heaping amount, but then you will realize the value of what is of use and what is just 'stuff', now unclogged from the previous form of existence. Remember the ancient cities' 'Needle's Eye' - that narrow gate allowing for a person to enter with what could fit. That is what this storm revealed. Now, we proceed to the journey ahead with just enough to get us to our next destination. Go forward, and when you cannot, stand still and see God's provision come to meet the need. That is the greatest lesson these years demonstrate, and this too will be your enduring legacy - knowing God as never before, personally.

(11) Yisroel, November 4, 2012 8:56 PM

I'm Sorry But...

Obama IS to blame. His way of thinking and acting is antithetical to what all of us are saying here. We SHOULD take these events as signaling that we should do all we can to defeat him and his brand of politicizing and governing. It is downright wrongheaded.

(10) Fernando, November 4, 2012 7:51 PM

Material possessions are meaningless

Essentially, lessons learned (personal experience) is that expensive cars, fine watches and designer clothing have little or no value in G-d's view. With G-d's guidance, material possessions can always be replaced. My conscience informs me that I spend too much time idolizing the latest specs of a Mercedes E class automobile or covet that Italian suit without end (without logic). My focus, my love and my energy should always be (first and foremost) directed at G-d and adhering to the Torah.

(9) Anonymous, November 4, 2012 7:46 PM

Seeing the Light in the darkness and staying connected

Sometimes life might seem dark, but Hashem was telling me to find those flashlights even when the house seems pitch black. I sat in my living room with my flashlight noticing how much light one little tiny flashlight cud bring. I felt so dependent on that little light, Hashem was telling me that ruchnius is the only light to really depend on. It made me think about where I am going in life, concentrate and not let my cell phone and internet district me from whats really important. It doesn't take much as Avraham Fried, "Let in the light just a little bit and you'll see that darkness go".

(8) Anonymous, November 4, 2012 6:57 PM


A great lesson from the Merciful. I personally think that in a way Sandy was a blessing from G-d to teach my children and I to sppreciate what we have. Our home or area in Jersey was not affected by flood, but we still have no electric power, no heat, but layers of warm clothes that allow us to stay and sleep comfortably in our cold place; no phone or internet, but we are able to charge our cell phone in our vehicle. Food In the refrigerator perished, but we have other food or sources of food to sustain ourselves. Two of my children who are always too busy to even sit at the table to eat with the family, now found the time to cherish and spend time amongst us. I do feel terrible for those who lost their homes and everything they had, but I thank G-d for teaching my children and I to appreciate more what we have, and the people who surround us. My oldest son who lives in Brooklyn, had no problems at all, and took it upon himself to prepare hundreds of sandwiches with a friend, and took it and donated it to a marginated Rockaway area of Brooklyn. For that, I feel blessed too. Sandy truly taught us that Hashem is the powerful One who control the world. Thank you Rabbi Salomon for making us, you readers, to analyze life from different perspectives.

(7) janicemcalarnen, November 4, 2012 5:36 PM

putting God first before all else.

I am learning, continually it seems: God first in all that I do, and He will take care of the rest.

(6) Tzipi K. Hartson, November 4, 2012 4:20 PM

Such wonderful responses...

I am unable to view the video, but I'm in awe of the beautiful responses it has inspired here...it's nice to know...there are such lovely, kind, funny people among our faith. I agree, fully with every post. Thank you all & Shavuah tov.

(5) Anonymous, November 4, 2012 4:07 PM

Hashem IS in Control

We pray to The Almighty for help for all of those affected by this devastating storm-almost unprecedented,never before have we prayed for so many suffering on this great a scale from weather related harm. Hashem, we beseech your Supernatural goodness to comfort ALL who are in dire need at this time.We praise You for Your Power,Unlimited Goodness, and Wisdom.Please help all of us,with getting the basic things we need in order to get back on our feet,and SUPERNATURALLY PROTECT ALL of us WHO believe in You and who love You,as well as those who need You in their hearts and lives who have hatred against You. Oh, Father,thank you for Your Watchful Eye,to take care of all that needs to still be done.Please HELP US!!! To You, the GIVER of Life,of ALL THINGS GOOD and BEAUTIFUL,PERFECT,and TRUE,we ask for Your HELP FOREVER.We are infinitely grateful for YOUR MERCY,KINDNESS,LOVE,and RESTORATION.In the Name of the G-d of Israel,the G-d of Abraham, Isaac,and Jacob,we beseech YOUR HELP,and THANK YOU for ALL YOU DO, fo giving us every breath of life,and comforting all of us. WE PRAISE YOU,and LOVE YOU! In gratitude for seeing us from Strength to Strength,for taking care of us in the past,now present, and in the future. AMEIN!

(4) Anonymous, November 4, 2012 3:52 PM

I learned

that i have to be better and kinder to my fellow human beings, and truly care about every person. To do everything I can to uplift each person who crosses my path, and to do as many good deeds as possible because only G-d knows how long each of us has on this earth. Better make it count by helping people, by cherishing those we love, by making sick people smile, by visiting the old, by praying for the suffering, by feeding the homeless, by loving people unconditionally. Putting our petty differences aside, and really caring one another. Forgetting our selfish concerns, and really focusing on doing good to our close ones, and to the world. Perhaps if we all start caring about one another, that's the whole point, that's really Veahavta Lireacha Kamocha, that's really Love Your Neighbor as Yourself, and that's really the whole Torah. I know I have to do that better, not just by studying but by actively being involved with people and doing as much good for them as possible. And truly making them smile:-) with love from the heart. Particularly the less fortunate.

(3) Malka, November 4, 2012 7:03 AM

Learned from Sandy

How precious life is. We don't have control. We are not in control. I have to be the best Jewess I can be today. What I do matters, to me and to all the Jewish people. What I do has a ripple effect, 'cause and effect. For me its a message that I have to take care of myself so I can serve G-d with joy. Physically and emotionally take care of myself.

Sue, November 4, 2012 4:31 PM

Learned from Malka

What you do matters to the whole world, not just to the Jewish people. Every kind and loving thought you or I send out into the universe, affects the whole of mankind.

(2) Harry Cain, November 1, 2012 4:50 PM

A bit of humor to help keep my "head above the water"

Judging from the 5 feet of water still in my basement, perhaps G-d's message to me is that I should finally install that indoor swimming pool I've been fantasizing over for many years.... Something to think about, no?!?

(1) Yisroel, November 1, 2012 1:45 PM

Personal Reaction

It tells me that the A-lmighty is Master of the World, and governments, even the U.S. government, are powerless to direct the course of events. So when an Obama says something to the effect that YOU didn’t build your business but government made it, or that government needs higher taxes so IT can cure society’s ills and set things aright for the disadvantaged as well as the middle-class, or that IT’s got your back and needs to enter into negotiations with your enemies so that IT can assuage them diplomatically, or that IT needs to create a healthcare monstrosity for everyone’s benefit, or that….who knows what! IT is not to be relied on and is to be laughed at for thinking, or at least claiming, that IT possesses the wherewithal to provide and deliver. Our only avenue of recourse is to turn to A-lmighty for help and redemption, for He alone is the Doer of everything.

Anonymous, November 4, 2012 7:31 PM

Passing the buck!

Stop blaming Obama. Think about YOU....isn't that what the Rabbi is asking us to do?


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