Jerusalem – Knesset: Israel Likely to Experience Haiti-style Earthquake

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    A crater about 2 meters long, 1 meter deep and 1.5 meter wide opened up near the Dome of the Rock when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook the areas of Lebanon, Syria and Israel on Friday, February 15th 2008Jerusalem – It is certain that an earthquake at least as powerful as the one that occurred in Haiti two weeks ago will hit Israel, according to an expert speaking Tuesday at the Knesset.

    The meeting was held to discuss the strengthening of Israel’s infrastructure to withstand a Haiti-sized quake.

    Chairman of the Steering Committee, representing the Infrastructure Ministry, Dr. Avi Shapira, said that “what is killing these people are the buildings. I have serious reservations about the term ‘natural disaster.’ It is the buildings that turned into death traps.”

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    18 COMMENTS

      • I hope you’re right, but it still is the responsible thing to do to prepare for one – just like with everything else in life: we are expected to make our best effort, and then trust in Hashem to make it successful.

        And by the way, there have indeed been destructive earthquakes in Israel before. Most recent I know of was in 1927, which caused quite a bit of damage. Before that, in 1837, there was one that destroyed most of Tzfas and killed hundreds of people. Even in Tanach there are mentions of earthquakes in the Land of Israel – Amos 1:1 and Zechariah 14:5 (the latter in connection with the splitting of the Mount of Olives mentioned in comment #2).

        • I think the one in Amos and Zecharia are refering to the same earthquake-which might not have even happened yet at the time of the nevua. That earthquake was a supernatural one, not your regular run of the mill one.

          • True, both of them are referring to the same event, as the commentaries to Amos ibid. (and Radak and Metzudas David to Zechariah ibid.) state.

            Amos isn’t prophesying that the earthquake will happen, just using it as a significant epoch; his first prophecy is dated “two years before the earthquake,” rather like we might say that something happened “a year before 9/11.” Zechariah refers to it as something in the past, and says that the panic when Har Hazeisim splits in two (when Moshiach comes) will be comparable to that event.

            Anyway, it’s true that in this case there was a known supernatural reason for the earthquake – as the commentaries say, it occurred when King Uzziah attempted to perform the service in the Beis Hamikdash, in violation of the Torah. However, when you get down to it, any earthquake has a supernatural cause – the Gemara (Berachos 59a) mentions in this connection various manifestations of Hashem’s grief (so to speak) at the state of His world – but again, that doesn’t negate the scientific understanding of earthquakes (after all, Hashem controls the plates and their movements), and certainly it’s our responsibility to prepare for their effects.

      • What makes you so positive about it? Maybe the earthquake in haiti was just a warning for us, if we dont improve on the better side than wer’e next-chas veshalom, dont you believe in ‘velo sucki hoaretz eschem betamachem oisum’? hashem should help us!

      • אין סומכין על הנס. He has let it happen before; what makes you think He won’t do so again? We have to pray that He doesn’t, and improve our behaviour in hope that He won’t, but we must also prepare for the possibility that He will.

    1. Chas vesholom 100000x. I daven that such a terrible thing would never happen! ……. To west Jerusalem atleast. We could use a”change of scenery” to the east, if u know what I mean 😉

    2. Doesn’t the Cohen Gadol bless the people of the Sharon on Y”K that their homes should not become their graves…suggesting that this was a recurring problem???

    3. In Retzuas Aza, where people store explosives under their beds & cushions & live in high-riser buildings, coulfd you imagine the explosions & fires, that will rock & burn the place? No one will go to help like in Haiti, because who wants to get blowen up. It may be a wake up call for them not to conduct their war from within the so called civilian zone.

    4. Some comments make me wonder how we really relate to hashem. To say hashem will never make it happen in EY is a stupid answer because if the is a fault line there and the crust of the earth moves a inch or so a year and hashem gave us the knowledge to know and understand this and then we go and build on land that will rock and shake ones in a while, buildings and infrastructure that cannot withstand such tremors, than who is the dummy? Hashem never said you have to live in condos and drive your car on bridges that can’t withstand a earthquake. To say have emunah hashem will never make it happen here because yidden live here, not Haitians, is the dumbest form preservation I have heard.

    5. During about 1837 there was a terrible earthquake in the city of Tzfas. Sadly, many lives were lost and great amount of injuries. But dont panic. On Yom Kippur we read Maftir Yona to remind us that from Hashem you can run but you cannot hide. So better to stop worrying and do Teshuva before you end up in H— just like like Korach.

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