Friends in the business have been sending me a fine list of religious reasons for the tsunami. I thought nothing could top [“Paul Johnson”:http://www.spectator.co.uk/article_archive.php?issue=2005-01-15&id=5549]’s proof, in the _Spectator,_ that the disaster proves the existence of a benevolent God but I was wrong. A truly creative theologian can use it to prove not just God’s general benevolence, but His particular care for His favourite causes. A former chief rabbi of Israel [“has explained”:http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1106796050503] that it’s all the fault of the people pressing Israel to withdraw from any part of the Occupied Territories:
bq. In the latest edition of _Mayanei Hayeshua,_ a weekly Torah pamphlet distributed to thousands of synagogues throughout the country, Eliyahu was asked how we are to understand the tsunami.
Eliyahu answered, “The [Babylonian] Talmud [the tractate of Berachot] says that when God is angry at the nations of the world for not aiding Israel – they want to evacuate, to disengage, to interfere in our affairs, He claps his hands, causing an earthquake.”
(The quote comes from the _Jerusalem Post._) The only remaining question is why God, when he zapped Iran last year, didn’t manage to remove their nuclear programme too.