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Thursday, September 08, 2005

More Katrina Theodicy

I put up a post last week where I criticized various bloggers for their conviction that Hurricane Katrina was divine retribution for the disengagement. The number of links the post received from other bloggers (did I miss anyone?) showed that it struck a nerve with both those who disagreed and agreed with my criticism.
This week, another person made his opinion known on the subject - former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. From Ynet:
“Bush was behind the (expulsion of) Gush Katif,” he said. “He encouraged Sharon to expel Gush Katif…we had 15,000 people expelled here, and there 150,000 (were expelled). It was God’s retribution ..God does not short-change anyone.”

“He (Bush) perpetrated the expulsion. Now everyone is mad at him…this is his punishment for what he did to Gush Katif, and everyone else who did as he told them, their time will come, too,” the rabbi said.
I still disagree with the theory, or at least the certainty with which its adherents are espousing it. But DovBear and Miriam point out another, largely ignored part of the speech that I find even more objectionable:
“There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, because there isn’t enough Torah study… black people reside there (in New Orleans). Blacks will study the Torah? (God said) let’s bring a tsunami and drown them.”
“Hundreds of thousands remained homeless. Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God.”
The racism in this statement, as well as the wholesale assumption that these people are Godless (who says?) is just appalling.


Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

OrthoMom: You forget - the Tsunami occured the week the Knesset voted in favor of the Disengagement. :-/

BTW: Here's more fruits of the Disengagement. Seems like a slight miscalculation on Israel's part. One of many more to come - *sigh*


10:33 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

OrthoMom: You forget - the Tsunami occured the week the Knesset voted in favor of the Disengagement.

Yeah, I hear all those people in thecountries affected by the Tsunami had very strong opinions on the disengagement.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Orthomom: Hey - don't blame me - I just bring the facts. I didn't say that A specifically happened because of B.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Rebeljew said...


who would have thought it? A Torah Gadol being a racist. Next thing they will be claiming that one group of people is superior to all others, especially in the eyes of G-d.

Or as it was put in another context over 1000 years ago, "the head of the snake crush it. The best of the Egyptians, crush his head."

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well say what you like the sight (on CNN) of American soldiers forcibly removing the inhabitants of New Orleans from their houses brings a chilling reminder of what happened just a few weeks ago in Gaza. At least here we did not have to watch soldiers removing people at gunpoint. Midda k'neged midda? makes you think!

9:58 AM  
Blogger Rebeljew said...

Rav Yosef, you are slipping. The "tzunami" was last winter Rav Yosef, on the other side of the globe from the "blacks" in New Orleans. Black non Jews (or any other races) are not supposed to study the Torah. In fact, the halacha (you are a halacha expert, remember?) is that they should incur the death penalty in that case. So it was a GOOD THING that they did not study Torah, a limud zechus that should have SPARED THEM from death.

Now I think it is past your bedtime. Oh, and by the way, why weren't you punished by G-d for supporting the Oslo Accords? Perhaps, your current senility is the answer to that question.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

"..the sight (on CNN) of American soldiers forcibly removing the inhabitants of New Orleans from their houses brings a chilling reminder of what happened just a few weeks ago in Gaza."

I think the people of New Orleans would have thanked God for substantial advance warning so that they could pack their belongings, and transport and escort provided to get them safely out of the area.

I am not unsympathetic to the trauma of the disengagement. Losing your home sucks. However I haven't only been horrified by those who've supported this "Katrina is God's revenge" nonsense, I've been horrified by those who seem to think that the Gaza settlers suffered through something as bad or worse than that which has happened on the Gulf Coast.

How to say this gently? In Lousiana and Mississippi, many hundreds, perhaps thousands of people are dead. Many survivors are living in conditions far worse than anyone made to leave Gaza will, God willing, ever face. People have lost not only houses, but everything they owned. They did not get soldiers to take them to safety and protect them, instead they were left to the mercy of the storm and the criminals roaming a destroyed city.

Saying that this is a 'chilling reminder' of Gaza makes you sound callous beyond words. This makes Gaza look like a picnic in the park. Time for a reality check.

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's gotta be something missing in that last quote about blacks. It's totally incoherent, it doesn't even make sense from a racist perspective.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Rebeljew said...


This is vintage Ovadia Yosef. In fact, it is vintage Charedi.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane form or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

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12:27 AM  

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