Monday, March 28, 2011

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PANIC! Or not.

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

How bad have things gotten in England for the Jews???  Commentor Rivki points out…

Please check your facts and stop scaremongering.  The thefts were purely thefts and have been going on for a while.  The riots were against tax cuts [actually against reductions in free government services].  And every once in a while someone will get punched for being a Jew...surprise surprise.

Rivki makes a very good point.  It’s easy to pinpoint an event or two and say “it’s terrible, it’s turning on the Jews, ahhhhhh”.  But that’s without examining the context.

A little research showed in 2007 there were ~600 anti-semitic attacks against Jews in England, or about two per day.  The study noted that the yearly number had tripled in the past 10 years, that’s a disturbing trend.

But it also means a synagogue getting stolen from or a girl being punched is just part of the normal (daily) events of England.

This is a similar danger regarding possible geulah events.  Ongoing natural disasters are a part of our world, including major natural disasters every year.  If a typhoon hits Burma, which gets hit almost every year (and some years multiple times) and affects hundreds of thousands of people…we’ll barely notice because typhoons swamp Burma almost every year.

If that same typhoon doesn’t hit Burma this year but hits Queensland, Australia and swamps the city, we’ll be shouting about natural disasters destroying civilization.  (Both because Australia is rarely hit and since it is rarely hit there will be more people and buildings near the shore to be easily damaged – increasing the impact.)

As Rivki pointed out with my mistaken hyping of events in England, it’s not just the events, it’s the context. 

Josh at Parsha Blog pointed this out with even a bit more detail today, noting there are an average of three level 6 [city damaging] per week on Earth and an average of one level 7 [city leveling] per week.  It’s just they don’t often align with major cities, and even less often with cities that aren’t prepared for them (such as happened in Haiti).  When those alignments do happen, which seem to be about every 20 years or so, the results are mass casualties (dependent on the strength of the earthquake versus the strength of local earthquake preparation.)

This does not mean these natural events aren’t aligned by Hashem, G-d forbid.  But it does mean that the happening of such an event or two or three (per week) is not out of the norm and as populations have increased in earthquake prone areas so have casualties.

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