Letter from a concerned Mother in Florida:
As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, I can’t help but think about the lessons that can be gleaned from its arrival. A storm that is breaking records as the largest and strongest storm ever to form in the Atlantic, with maximum sustained winds of 185 MPH and gusts measuring it at 225 MPH. A storm that measures close to 400 miles across as it steadily makes its way closer and closer to Miami a mere 2 weeks before the Yom HaDin.
I would have to be blind not to see that Hashem is talking to us. What am I supposed to learn from it? What are we, as a community, supposed to learn from this? As we watch people pack up and flee with the sole intention of keeping their families safe from harm. What is the Ribono Shel Olam telling us? Well, there are a few thoughts going through my mind right now. The first is the unbelievable Chesed that is born from an עת צרה like this.
Communities across the United Stated have opened their doors and offered to house families who are evacuating. Can you imagine welcoming people into your home with no knowledge of how long they will be staying? Maybe a few days? Maybe longer. Atlanta, Baltimore, New York- galvanizing and sending out open invitations to anyone needing a place. Not far behind are the communities readying supplies and manpower – ready to head to Florida the minute the storm leaves in order to provide help in any way possible.
Hand in hand is the achdus of the various Hatzalahs and other emergency organizations across America forming teams to help (even remotely during the storm) with answering phones, giving out information, preparing for medical intervention if Chas V’Shalom it is needed. מי כעמך ישראל! Finally, as I prepare to evacuate myself and I start pondering what I should take with me, I realize how unimportant the material things we possess are. As we pack a few basic necessities, along with important papers and documents and prepare to leave, we look around and realize that everything else can be replaced.
Someone told me that I needed to make sure to take my “precious possessions” with me and I assured her that I was since all of my children and my husband will be leaving with me. We continue to daven that the storm (which is right on a course that has the eye of the storm hitting Miami directly), turns drastically and does not wreak havoc and devastation.
We continue to daven that we somehow got the messages Hashem is sending us and that is the zechus of all the chesed beign done, our communities will be spared a direct hit from this very powerful storm.