Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lightning & Thunder


Judaism has special blessings for lightning and thunder: 

Lightning: ….Oseh Ma’aseh Bereschit 

Thunder: …she Kocho u’Gvurato maleh Olam 

As soon as we see a lightning or heard the first thunder, we say those blessings. In case the two appear together, we only say …Oseh Ma’aseh Bereschit. 

The Talmud Tractate Berachot (Blessings) 59a asks what exactly causes thunder or even an earthquake. The answer of the following Gemara (rabbinic discussion) is that the causes are either G - d's tears, G - d clapping His hands, G - d putting his foot down or pushing His feet under His throne

It goes without saying that the Gemara is here using symbolic language ! 

Rabbeinu Chananel interprets the Gemara: Noise is an expression of G - d's satisfaction that the Jews are still in exile (Diaspora). G - d would love to bring them back to Israel but the time has not yet come. 

Although expressions such as “G – d's Feet” etc. cannot be understood literally but symbolically, the deeper meaning is that G - d may cause nature catastrophes in order to teach us something. Giving us a hint that we should find our way back to Him. This may sound like something weird apocalyptic but the Kabbalah as well as the Talmud give proof this theory. Let us take the generation of Enosh when G - d was punishing the people due to their idol - worship practices. Suddenly parts of the mainland disappeared into the sea and became part of it.

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