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I Survived a Plane Crash, So What?

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Question of the Week:

What bugs me about believers is you evoke god only when it suits you. When a plane crashes, and I just missed the flight because I got a flat tire on the way to the airport, I am supposed to see it as a miracle. As for the three hundred people who didn’t miss the flight and were killed, well, that’s just bad luck. If god is behind everything, isn’t he behind the crash too? So why be impressed that he saved me?


You make a good point. For a believer, whatever happens, bad or good, was supposed to happen. Everything that comes our way is somehow a part of the divine plan. Nothing is random.

And that is precisely why someone who had a close shave must be thankful to G-d.

If you weren’t on that plane because you had no plans to fly that day, there’s nothing much for you to take personally. But if you had tickets for that flight and missed it due to unexpected circumstances, you just had a brush with death, and a brush of the divine hand. There must be a message there for you.

A close call happens to tell you that on some level, you were destined to die. Your soul’s time is up in this world. But you have been given an extension on life, a new soul with a new mission. You can’t go back to living the same way you did before. Life can never be the same, because it isn’t the same life, it’s a new one.

Why some people die in tragedies and others survive, why people get sick and only some recover, why suffering visits one person and skips over another, we do not know. But the fact that life is so fragile means that we need to be grateful for every healthy day. And if you experience a near miss with the Angel of Death, that is G-d telling you that you have much more good to do in this life, and you’ve just been given more time to do it. So get on with it.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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