What's on your Christmas/holiday wish this year?
This past year has given us much to think about. On a personal level, we all experienced our individual triumphs and sorrows. History, however, will record this year as one where people across the world tried to recover from one massive disaster after another, such as the Asian tsunami that struck in the final days of last year, hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the earthquakes that struck in Iran and Pakistan. The magnitude of these events and the loss of life, not to mention damage to property, are simply unbelievable.
As a rabbi, I'm often asked to explain natural disasters and I find it very hard to do so. To explain why evil people perpetrate horrific crimes is straightforward -- it is simply a case of man exercising his freedom of choice. How do we explain an act of God when there is massive destruction?