I tried to avoid this issue as it was propping up in conversations and in private chain emails, in the hope that sober minds would prevail and this opinion would die down, but I was wrong, and this philosophy has now hit the media. What I am talking about is the attempt of some opinion leaders to explain the Japanese triple disaster by linking it to a particular wrong the Japanese are accused of: the conviction of three young Jewish men for unknowingly smuggling a large amount of drugs into Japan.
Rabbi David Twersky, the leader of the Rachmastrivka Hasidic dynasty, says the recent tsunami in Japan, which has left thousands of people dead, was the result of the arrest of two yeshiva students by Japanese authorities after being convicted of smuggling drugs, YNET reports. In truth, I am loath to respond, because the Rachmastrivka Rebbe is a great, G”d-fearing, holy man, infinitely more learned than I am. It is thus with quite some trepidation I write these words, but, I believe that we must write them. The notion that about 27000 people lost their lives because three Jewish men were too harshly punished, is so disproportional, that no response would be needed. However, I feel that when the internet is obscured by such incomprehensible statements, it behooves us to seek what the Torah really has to say about these matters. Read the rest of this entry »