Questions tagged [natural-phenomenon]

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Do we still see the miracle of manna today?

Are there any source which points that the miracle concerning manna happens daily or regularly? That is to say, did G-d use natural law to allow manna to fall rather than to change natural law which ...
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Does rain come from clouds or the waters above the firmament?

In Bereshis 7:11-12 it says: וַאֲרֻבֹּ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם נִפְתָּֽחוּ וַֽיְהִ֥י הַגֶּ֖שֶׁם עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם וְאַרְבָּעִ֖ים לָֽיְלָה And the floodgates of the sky broke open. ...
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1answer
63 views

Does one make a blessing on wondrous man-made structures?

Halacha codifies making a blessing on wondrous natural events and places (see here). I would like to know if any halachic authorities discuss making a blessing on wondrous man-made structures such as ...
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60 views

Which sins are specifically punished with earthquake?

There were/are earthquakes in many countries in the world in the past few days. If earthquake is a form punishment from Hashem, then which sins are punished by such? I/We can use the answer to ...
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1answer
108 views

Parameters of the bad omen for eclipses

The Gemara in Succah 29a says that solar eclipses are bad omens for the nations, while lunar eclipses are bad omens for the Jews. The Gemara compares an eclipse to a king who leaves his guests sitting ...
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182 views

Are there any sages who have written about experiencing a total solar eclipse?

This year, on August 21, 2017, many Americans will have a chance to experience a total solar eclipse. Total solar eclipses were rarely documented before the 10th century of the Common Era. But, I ...
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Does the proclamation of the New Moon by Beis Din have an effect on nature?

I found in this celebratory volume, p 172 (haoros.com/download.asp?kovetzID=1086&ext=pdf) והנה הרא"ה בספר בדק הבית שלו הובא בש"ך יור"ד סי' קפ"ט סקי"ג הסכים עם קושיית הרמב"ן, ולפיכך כתב שיש ...
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62 views

Source for a Maharal I learned a while back…help

A while back I learned a Marahal in which he says that God provided the general instructions to the natural process but did not provide details, rather nature took its course. One example he gave (I ...
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Is there any order for brachot said on seeing natural phenomena simultaenously?

You are standing at a distance from a powerful storm. Simultaneously, you see lightning, a tornado and a rainbow. Each of these require a different bracha. Is there any order to which bracha you ...
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What astronomical event, if any, do the 6 tekufos correspond to?

Bava Metzia 106b speaks of 6 tekufos רשב"ג משום ר"מ אומר וכן היה רבי שמעון בן מנסיא אומר כדבריו חצי תשרי מרחשון וחצי כסליו זרע, חצי כסליו טבת וחצי שבט חורף, חצי שבט אדר וחצי ניסן קור, חצי ניסן ...
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1answer
69 views

Why did God create seasons?

The Midrash Kohelet say on the verse: "see the work of G-d.." (Ecc. 7:13) - "when the Holy One, Blessed be He, created Adam, He took him and led him to pass before all the trees of the Garden of Eden ...
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36 views

Miracles through natural means (part 2)

This is a follow up to my previous question. Does anyone know of any sources where modern scientists and/or Rabbonim with relevant knowledge have discussed various possibilities for how overt ...
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118 views

Miracles through natural means

I've heard it said that both Ramban and Rambam believed that Hashem causes miracles to occur through natural means, but I've never seen this. What exactly do they (and other significant Rabbonim) say ...
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257 views

Shooting Stars and Luck

There seems to be a non-Jewish association of good luck with seeing a shooting star. Is there any source for this in Judaism?
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371 views

Is the blessing “Oseh Ma'aseh Breishit” to be understood literally?

The term "ma'aseh breishit" means, literally "the makings (or creations) of the beginning." The "beginning" seems to me, to refer to the first 6 days of creation. Certain things that we recite "Oseh ...
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156 views

Can you make a bracha on seeing a tornado from a distance?

This answer states that there is an opinion to recite a bracha upon experiencing winds that shatter stones and mountains such as a hurricane or tornado. The answer seems to address that you ...
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1answer
67 views

How does Tzaraat work without God seriously intervening in the natural world?

The concept of Tzaraat is confusing. Essentially, soon after slandering your friend, you are to be afflicted by this mysterious skin or clothing discolouration as a punishment and then excommunicated....
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Should one make a bracha on seeing geological arches, hoodoos or balanced rocks?

I am considering visiting Arches National Park in Utah. This park has several "arch" rock formations and a few hoodoos and a balanced rock. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 228:1 states that one should make a ...
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3answers
352 views

Rainbows prior to the Mabul

Did the rainbow exist as we know today, prior to the Mabul? Was it the same, different, or it did not exist at all prior to the Mabul? (sources please)
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156 views

Is it permissible to live in California (or similar places) that have an earthquake risk?

I'm from a place that usually never gets an earthquake, I want to move to California but it sounds dangerous because of the earthquake possibility (soil turning to liquid, no warning, etc)... Is ...
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540 views

Bracha on Natural Wonders

Is the bracha שככה לו בעולמו still said on natural wonders? It is in my siddur but I have never heard it said, rather, people often opt to say עושה מעשה בראשית. Which bracha would be said on a natural ...
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Where else in the Talmud can we find a discussion of natural disasters?

We read a passage relating to natural disasters in Taanit 5a in which Rabbi Nachman asks Rav Yitzchak to explain a passage from Kings II 8:1 in which the people are told that they will suffer through ...
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161 views

Why does Scripture in parashat bereishit need to mention the four rivers?

In Bereishit 2:10, scripture mentions the following: 10: And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. 11: The name of one is Pishon; ...
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786 views

Niagara Falls does it require a Bracha if so which one?

Do you make a bracha when seeing Niagara falls, and, if a bracha is made, which bracha?
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What's the bracha for a circumzenithal arc?

Upon seeing a rainbow, we say, זוכר הברית, ונאמן בבריתו, וקים במאמרו ...who remembers the covenant, is faithful in his covenant, and fulfills his word. I recently witnessed a natural event ...
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150 views

Famine in Egypt

Question: How can there be a famine in egypt? Parshas Miketz and Vayigash discuss a famine in Egypt and the world. Rashi's comments to Eikev 11:10 imply that the Nile's annual flooding was critical ...
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4answers
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What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. You'd think the existence of a former world of huge alien creatures would ...
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1answer
165 views

Rational approaches to superstitious ideas

Can one assume that there is a perfectly rational approach to superstitious ideas? May one go out of one's way to come up with rational approaches if these ideas bother him? My thinking is, LeHavdil,...
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221 views

Good and Bad Omen - on something that can be calculated in advance

Inspired by Why make a bracha on an earthquake but not on an eclipse? When something can be predicted in advance to an exact moment - for example an eclipse which Chazal say it is a bad Omen (Sukkah ...
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1answer
475 views

Why make a bracha on an earthquake but not on an eclipse?

According to this page, Chaza"l intentionally omitted solar and lunar eclipses from the list of natural phenomena upon which we make a bracha. The following explanation is given: "The Hebrew term ...
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1answer
199 views

7 Seas or The Great Ocean?

Seeing the ocean warrants the recital of a blessing. (Assume for this question like the opinions that the proper bracha is שעשה את הים הגדול as opposed to עושה מעשה בראשית.) It is only recited if one ...
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4answers
889 views

Rainbow, telling a friend

We know The rainbow is a bad Omen. Is one allowed to tell a friend when he sees one, in order to allow him to make a Bracha or should he hold back as it is a bad sign?
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1answer
340 views

Rainbow: Making a Bracha on a bad Omen

As discussed in some earlier questions Rainbows are a bad Omen yet we are Halachicly commanded to make a Bracha on it. The Gemara in Chagigah (16A) says you may not gaze at one so how do you make the ...
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3answers
5k views

Rainbow as a bad omen

There is a popular idea that seeing a rainbow is a bad sign, as if the world is deserving of a deluge (c"v) and the only reason Hashem does not do so is because of His promise. Is there any source for ...
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2answers
180 views

"Oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh?

Someone made the brocho of “oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh? What sources deal with this issue please? (I have posed the shaaloh to my Rav.)
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Bracha after an earthquake

Per the Artscroll Siddur after an earthquake we make a Bracha "Oseh Maaseh Breishis". Up to how long after the earthquake can you make this Bracha? (sources please)
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738 views

Eclipse of the moon, bad sign for the Jews

Tonight, December 20, 2010, there will be a full lunar eclipse visible from North America and many other areas. I recall there is a Gemara that says that a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for the Jews as ...
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807 views

Bracha on thunder and lightning - how often?

If you are in a rainstorm with thunder and lightning - you make the Brachos for them. What happens if the storm ends and then a few hours later (same day) it is raining again. Do you make another ...