Man and Nature, making sense of current world events.
This is a slightly updated version of the original article I wrote in Jan. 2011
The following was inspired from the news of late and from an introduction of a book by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer.
Over the past few years the news has been loaded with reports of the storm that dumped ice and snow across the south and northeast USA in an unusual fashion; snow in South Africa. There are the floods of Australia, Brazil & Sri Lanka, Philippines and many other places; then we have the uprising in earthquakes tsunamis and strange sinkholes popping up all over; drought throughout the USA with a second summer of many days above triple digit degrees. Lakes and rivers drying up; the seasons seem to be running a month early and so.
Zodiac signs may all be messed up affecting many people.
Is there a message in all of this?
Yes there is, and it is not global warming caused by mans use of large amounts of carbon emissions – the global warming picture that many are painting is nothing but a rouge to keep the world from seeing what really is going on – and yes man is causing it but how?
We must go back to the beginning to where the Torah (the word of the One true G-d given to Israel at Mt. Sinai some 3500 yrs ago)
In the Torah we are given the information that G-d wants us to have to be able to live on this earth with G-d and man. In light of what is going on lets look into the Torah for some answers.
God gifted the earth and the cosmos to Adam – He gave him keys to unlock the powers of them both. The keys he was handed was the keys of prayer. In Hebrew the word for prayer is ‘tefillah’ at the root of this word is the meaning ‘to connect’ – prayer is about conversation and connection with G-d, it is not a vehicle to get G-d to be our maid; prayer is the arena in which the opportunity for the merger of the will of G-d and the will of man.
So from the get go we find that G-d wants a connection with His creation, and it is by this connection the whole of creation is affected.
“now all the trees of the field were not yet on the earth and all the herd of the field had not yet sprouted for HaShem God had not yet sent forth rain upon the earth and there was no man to work the soil.” Gen. 2:5
The great Jewish commentator Rashi, teaches us here the reason that God did not send the rain was because there “was no man to work the soil”, no one to appreciate the need for rain. After the creation of Adam, he knew that there needed to be rain for life to spring forth from the earth. He prayed for rain and it fell and vegetation sprang forth.
What we learn here in this passage is that G-d and man work together to bring forth the working of nature – this is a shared responsibility; G-d has given man the opportunity to team up with Him in making this world work.
In the awesome and infinite wisdom, G-d put together spiritual forces that act as transfer agents to bridge the gap between the infinite and the finite. These agents are the malakim (servants or in English angels) and the stars in their constellations. The malakim are forces that control every aspect of nature. When G-d was about to create man he informed them that man would be their master. The Talmud relates that the malakim protested but G-d said that man alone is worthy to represent the Master of the universe; thus G-d gave the keys of creation to man as we find out in the following Psalm.
“When I behold Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast established; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou thinkest of him? Yet Thou hast made him but little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou hast made him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under His feet:” Psalm 8: 4-7
“The malakim and the constellations are very similar in their functions as Divinely appointed positions of translating the spiritual blessings from heaven into material bounty on the earth. The word ‘malak’ (angel) is connate with the Hebrew word ‘noizale’ (flow); because all that emanates from the celestial source flows to earth through the channels of the star formations.” Rabbi Feuer
“And He took him outside and said, ‘Gaze now, toward the Heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them, “So shall your offspring be!” And he trusted HaShem, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Gen 15: 5-6
The great Torah commentator Rashi teaches us that when G-d took Avraham outside and told him to gaze into the Heavens that when he did he saw that the stars revealed that he would be childless and it had been true all his life; but then G-d said look not only at what they are telling you but count my servants if you can – thus so shall your offspring be and then Avraham trusted the Master of the Universe.
G-d is showing him that the message is true but I am the Master and I can change nature – Avraham’s trust had brought on the fact that G-d was changing nature for the one who had placed all his trust and faith in the One True G-d during a time when the entire world was chasing and worshiping idols.
What do we learn from all of this? That being connected to and having trust in the Master of the Universe has an affect on the nature around us and the opposite is true as well.
The following is a direct quote from Rabbi Feuer’s book:
“A discussion of angels and stars may appear to be mystical and esoteric, but an appreciation of these concepts is essential to a fundamental teaching of Judaism, which emphasizes that we must perceive this world on not one, but two levels; the natural and the supernatural. The Almighty who created the world continues to control its every detail with an omnipotence that defies human comprehension, but He chooses to hide Himself behind the curtain called Nature, which operates by predictable laws and cycles that appear to be independent of a Divine Master.
The curtain of divine nature divides between God and man, and God issued the challenge, “Lift the veil of nature and discover that I stand behind it!” Since nature itself is controlled by the heavenly intermediaries, we must be aware of the forces controlling nature – the angels and stars – that stand, so to speak, with one foot in heaven and one foot on earth. Our Sages made it clear when they taught: Rabbi Simon said: “There is no blade of grass without a guiding star in heaven, which strikes it and commands, “Grow!” (Bereishis Rabbah 10:7)
In truth, just as the stars influence man, man influences the stars, because the forces of nature not only challenge man, they serve him as well. However, they serve man only to the extent he serves his true Master, the Almighty. Should man’s service of God slacken, nature will turn against him. Thus, the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 10:4) teaches that prior to the sin of Adam the planets and celestial spheres traveled at an extremely rapid speed, so that they could quickly bring him God’s blessings. As a result of Adam’s sin, however, the planetary orbits were enlarged and their speed was drastically reduced. When man tarries in the service of his Creator; nature tarries in serving man.
These fundamental concepts and beliefs were revealed to Avraham when God took him outside, and elevated him above the stars. Hitherto, Avraham’s perspective had been limited by natures narrow field of vision. Now God raised Avraham perception of reality by providing him with an elevated point from which to view the world. God encouraged him to soar high above the forces of nature by means of his faith and free-will service of God. In effect, God said, “Appeal to Me, the Creator, the Controller, the Source. You will surely arouse my compassion and I will tailor nature to suit your needs.” (Bold emphasis mine)
The above is a mouth and mind full to contemplate. What we learn from the encounter Avraham had with God, is the power behind faith and prayer that connects us to the One True God of Avraham.
The evidence of a world disconnect with its Creator has been evident in the news over the past few weeks. As this world becomes more disconnected we will see a rise in natural disasters, it is not global warming causing the shifting in the weather patterns it is the shifting of man away from his Creator.
As in Avraham’s day the world is full of idols and false gods – Avraham was the first to stand up against the plethora of false gods of world and declare that there is but One God and so he passed it down to his children who today are persecuted for their trust and belief in the One God, the Creator.
To find this One God turn to the Torah – the instruction book given to the offspring of Avraham and Sarah. They have had this information for 3500+ years – others have come into be trying to pervert it with their ideas do not follow those thieves but come to the ones who have this knowledge that was passed down from their father.
“seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of HaShem, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that HaShem may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.” Gen 18:18-19
The words in Hebrew for righteousness & justice is, tzedaka & mishpot. These are the way of G-d for all man to obey. Tzedaka means righteous giving. This does not only include giving of money but also of one self to help your fellow human being. Mishpot means the laws that are applicable to everyone. The laws that are given to all mankind are today called the Noahide Laws. There are 7 categorical laws. 1. Belief in One G-d 2. Do not blaspheme or curse G-d 3. Do not murder 4. do not commit theft 5. Do not commit immoral sexual acts. 6. Do not eat meat torn from a living animal. 7. Set up courts of justice.
Is. 45:22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all ends of the earth, for I am G-d and there is no other.”
The word,’Turn’ here is sometimes translated as, ‘Look’, it is from the Hebrew word for ‘face’ – G-d is telling us all peoples of every nation to turn our face to Him – the salvation is from the destruction that befalls man when he turns his face away from G-d.
If man will return to his Creator in faith and prayer he will cause the reverse affects that he has caused on the earth.
You can fill the universe with green technology and it will not help man but return to God and He and the earth will return to us.
Terry W. Hayes