Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tsunami in the Mediterranean? What would this mean for us?

An earthquake? There are regularly earthquakes all around the world. If someone would tell you there was a 3.0 magnitude earthquake in the Mediterranean Sea that would likely not pique your interest. If someone would show you a map of the world with the frequency of earthquakes in different regions, the more active earthquake zones would likely catch your eye. If you would be informed of specific areas in the world with a history of tsunamis following some major earthquakes, that would be all the more interesting.

This brings us to the Mediterranean Sea surrounding Greece. This area is known as the "North Anatolian Fault Zone" - one of the most seismically active fault zones in the world. As recently as January 8, 2006, there was a very major earthquake on this fault zone, measuring between a 6.8 and 6.9 on the richter scale. There was a notable earthquake in the same area on September 7, 1999, measuring a 5.9 magnitude on the richter scale. That was considered major. What if someone were to tell you after the 5.9 earthquake that there would be an earthquake that would put out, let's say, 33 times the energy as the 5.9 earthquake. You might not believe them. Guess what? The earthquake on January 8, 2006 released 33 times the energy as the major earthquake that occurred on September 7, 1999.

Just to give you an idea of the seismicity of this part of the world, please check out the map below:

The above map, shows the earthquakes on that fault, along the "Western Hellenic Arc" during 1999. The "North Anatolian Fault Zone" is so active as it lies on the area where the African, Eurasian, and Arabian tectonic plates meet. As such, it is also a very active volcanic zone. There have been more than a whopping 20,000 earthquakes recorded in that area between 1964 and 1999! That's close to an average of 600 earthquakes a year, or just about 2 every day!

The Hellenic Arc:


At least 41 earthquakes in the past in this area generated tsunamis. Just between 1801-1958 there were twenty earthquakes that resulted in tsunamis, six of these tsunamis left significant damage in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In Sefer Yechezkhel, perek 27, (Book of Ezekiel) there is a prophecy of the ocean wiping out Tzor (Tyre) as a result of their happiness at the destruction of Yerushalayim. Yerushalayim was the center of regional trade until the destruction of the First Beis HaMikdash. After Yerushalayim's destruction, Tyre became the center of regional trade. It was not enough for them to benefit from becoming the center of trade, they exulted in the destruction of Yerushalayim. Therefore, they were punished with a destructive tsunami. In 586 B.C.E. the first Beis HaMikdash was destroyed and 61 years later there was a tsunami that inundated Tyre in the year 525 B.C.E. To keep this in context, Yechezkhel prophesized around the time of the destruction of the First Beis HaMikdash. Keep in mind that the people of Tyre were punished for exulting in Yerushalayim's downfall, without taking an active part in its' destruction. How much more so for those who actively are engaged in attempts to murder and maim the Jews! Warning: Don't mess with HaShem's "firstborn son"!

Just to note, in Yechezkhel, perek 29, we learn that Nevuchadnezzar was sent by HaShem to take over Mitzraim (Egypt) in order to pay for their troops with the booty from Mitzraim. Well, if you are familiar with Sefer Yechezkhel (and history), you know that Bavel (Babylonia) invaded Tyre before Mitzraim. Nevertheless, the pasuk (verse) - Yechezkhel - 29; 19 states, "Therefore, so says HaShem Elokim, behold, I am giving to Nevuchadnezzar the King of Bavel, the land of Mitzraim and he will carry out its multitudes, and take its spoils, and plunder it booty and it will be a payment for his army." ("spoils" here refers to the property taken after the war, "booty" here refers to that which the individual soldiers take in war (see Malbim)). In the previous pasuk we find that Nevchadnezzar's soldiers did not get payment by benefiting from the booty of the regional center-of-trade. Why? Explains Malbim, because of the tsunami which destroyed all on the island.


Rabbi Kaduri is attributed with saying the following regarding "natural disasters" and the process of the coming of Mashiach (as reported in Arutz Sheva on September 21, 2005):

"This declaration I find fitting to issue for all of the Jews of the world to hear. It is incumbent upon them to return to the Land of Israel due to terrible natural disasters which threaten the world.

In the future, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will bring about great disasters in the countries of the world to sweeten the judgments of the Land of Israel.

I am ordering the publication of this declaration as a warning, so that Jews in the countries of the world will be aware of the impending danger and will come to the Land of Israel for the building of the Temple and revelation of our righteous Mashiach (Messiah)."


Can another tsunami happen as punishment for the actions of modern-day peoples against HaShem's "firstborn son"? Why not? As a matter of fact, the way things are going today, there could be a major tsunami to wipe out many of the people who violently oppress the Jews. That tsunami, if HaShem wants it to happen, will happen at the most appropriate time, even tomorrow if He deems that most appropriate!

Before I share a couple segments from the neviim (Prophets), it is necessary to know that HaShem says that he will "not do anything unless He has already revealed it to His servants, the prophets" (True neviim are the ones Torah Judaism recognizes as such).

Now for the passages:

Yechezkhel - 26; 15-17:

(פסוק טו) כה אמר א-דני י-ה-ו-ה, יען עשות פלשתים בנקמה; וינקמו נקם בשאט בנפש, למשחית איבת עולם".
(פסוק טז) לכן, כה אמר א-דני י-ה-ו-ה, הנני נוטה ידי על פלשתים, והכרתי את כרתים; והאבדתי, את שארית חוף הים.
(פסוק יז) ועשיתי בם נקמות גדלות, בתוכחות חמה; וידעו, כי אני י-ה-ו-ה, בתתי את נקמתי, בם." [פ]

"So says HaShem Elokim, because the Pelishtim (also translated as "Palestinians") acted with vengeance, and they took vengeance with a contemptible spirit, to destroy with eternal enmity: Therefore, so says HaShem Elokim, Behold, I stretch My Hand upon the Pelishtim, and I cut off the Kereisim, and I have destroyed the remnant by the seashore: And I have done in their midst great [acts of] Revenge, with Rebukes of Anger. And they will know that I am HaShem when I place My Vengeance in their midst."

Keep the above in context, the beginning of the next chapter discusses the Mediterranean Sea inundating and destroying Tyre! (Yechezkhel 26 - 1-5):

(פסוק א) ויהי בעשתי עשרה שנה, באחד לחדש, היה דבר י-ה-ו-ה, אלי לאמר.
(פסוק ב) בן אדם, יען אשר אמרה צר על ירושלם האח, נשברה דלתות העמים, נסבה אלי:אמלאה, החרבה.
(פסוק ג) לכן, כה אמר א-דני י-ה-ו-ה, הנני עליך, צר; והעליתי עליך גוים רבים, כהעלות הים לגליו.
(פסוק ד) ושחתו חמות צר, והרסו מגדליה, וסחיתי עפרה, ממנה; ונתתי אותה, לצחיח סלע.
(פסוק ה) משטח חרמים תהיה, בתוך הים:כי אני דברתי, נאם א-דני י-ה-ו-ה; והיתה לבז, לגוים.
(פסוק ו) ובנותיה אשר בשדה, בחרב תהרגנה; וידעו, כי אני י-ה-ו-ה. [פ]

"And it was in the eleventh year, on the first of the month, the word of HaShem, was to me saying: Son of man, because Tyre has expressed happiness regarding [the destruction of] Yerushalayim, [saying:] 'The doors of the nations have broken, they have turned to me:... I Shall destroy the walls of Tyre... and I Shall make it a flat stone:..."

The commentators explain that this refers to the tsunami destroying Tyre.

The Radak as well as the Metzudas David (both commentators on nevi'im) state:

The "Kereisim" refer to a "large family of the Palestinians" and they are the ones living in Gaza by the seashore. (See the second chapter of Tzefaniah and the explanation there in the context of the destruction of the "Kereisim". The commentators go on to explain, "even a remnant will not remain by the seashore".

As the hour is late, I will conclude, for now, with the following from Sefer Yeshayahu: (11, 14)

(פסוק יד) ועפו בכתף פלשתים ימה, יחדו יבזו את בני קדם; אדום ומואב משלוח ידם, ובני עמון משמעתם.

"And they shall fly to the edge (seashore) of the Palestinians, to the sea..."

This can be read:

"And the Palestinians by the Sea will 'fly' to the sea...'

The above, explain the commentators is the lighting invasion of the two Mashiachs - the son of Yosef and the son of David - to take over Gaza from the Palestinians.

However, the above pasuk can be read that the Pelishtim will "fly to the sea".

If this happens, it would be called "midah k'neged midah" - "measure for measure" - they say they want to "throw the Jews into the Sea" - we'll see what will really happen!


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