There were multiple large natural disasters in the past two months. The Jewish newspapers referenced a letter from the Chafetz Chaim saying that HaShem does natural phenomena in the world to spur us to do Teshuva and cling to Him.

As a background of what the newspapers/newsletters were talking about:

  • ד׳ אלול Hurricane Harvey made landfall on USA mainland (Category 4)

  • י״ט אלול Hurricane Irma made landfall on USA mainland (Category 4)

  • כ״ט אלול Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico-USA territory (Category 4)

Weather.com wrote: "This is the first time on record two Category 4 landfalls occurred in the continental United States in the same hurricane season, much less within 16 days." And that was not considering the hurricane to Puerto Rico. All of this happened in the month of Elul. A month dedicated to Teshuva and preparation for the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe).

I've searched online a lot for a source for the letter of the Chafetz Chaim, and even found a forum where someone asked about locating it, but with no success on receiving an answer.

1 Answer 1


HaShem helped me find two letters of the Chafetz Chaim about natural disasters, and what they mean to us. He says very clearly that if we had Prophets nowadays, It is clear to me that they would be mezarez Klal Yisrael, but in our sins we don't have Prophets and messengers, HaShem is mezarez us with other Shluchim (messengers).

The letters I found are in the Kol Sifrei Chafetz Chaim, in the section Igrot Uma'amarim (אגרות ומאמרים). The two letters I found were: Letter #12 and Letter #30.

Here is the text of those two letters.

And it is well known what the Gemara in Yevamos says:

אמר רבי אלעזר בר אבינא אין פורענות באה לעולם אלא בשביל ישראל שנאמר הכרתי גוים נשמו פנותם החרבתי חוצותם וכתיב אמרתי אך תיראי אותי תקחי מוסר

Rabbi Elazar bar Avina said: Calamity befalls the world only for the Jewish people, as it is stated: “I have cut off nations, their corners are desolate; I have made their streets waste” (Zephaniah 3:6), and it is written: “I said: Surely you will fear Me, you will receive correction” (Zephaniah 3:7).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .