The month of November was the driest in Israel’s history, and this of course contributed to the conditions that enabled the huge fire in the Carmel region. Both religious Jews and secular here in Israel have remarked on the fact that G-d is telling us something (although it drives me crazy personally when people get too specific about exactly what G-d is saying, and point fingers at one action in particular. We believe that Hashem is ONE. This means that there are no “vice-G-ds”, and noone in this day and age, centuries after prophecy has stopped, can claim to know what Hashem’s reasoning is. Most people, even the most righteous among us, show the necessary modesty not to claim to “know” what G-d is doing. Those who forget this modesty, are, in my opinion, not as righteous as they claim to be…)
I personally think that we can see the good in everything. At some point we will need to deal with the drought conditions in this country in a more systematic way – and not put it off indefinitely. The terrible drought now will make us do that. Preparing this country to be able to fight fires in a more organized way will also be a priority – especially in light of the danger of fire during a war. This fire will prod us to do that.
Israelis love to point fingers at one another and lay blame. The politicians love to create commissions of inquiry and try to win political points with them. Both of these make me sick – but at the same time, it does spur on others to correct mistakes and learn from them.
The security forces in Israel are very good at preventing terrorist attacks in airports and on planes due to the very painful experience during the 70’s when the PLO and other terrorist organizations focussed its attacks on these sensitive areas. The IDF and its branches know how to gather intelligence on terrorists and kill them because of thousands of terrorist attacks that we have endured as a country. This knowledge did not come to us genetically – or in our very rich heritage. It came to us by learning from experience – as difficult as this is.