Believe it or not, there is actually a blessing that we are supposed to recite upon seeing a storm. That blessing is: “Praised are You, Adonai, Power of the Universe, Whose power and might fill the whole world – שכחו וגבורתו מלא עולם.”
It’s an acknowledgement that there are forces in the world far stronger than we are. As sophisticated as our engineering and technology may be, sometimes they are no match for nature.
As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Florida coast, we are once again aware of this power. Although it seems (at least for now) that the storm will not make it all the way up to New Jersey, we probably all know someone in the path of the storm. So, our thoughts and prayers are with them as they make all the appropriate preparations.
In this week’s Torah portion, Moshe tried to instill in the Children of Israel some courage as they faced their next challenge. He said the words: “Be strong, be courageous — חזקו ואמצו.” To all of our friends and family on Matthew’s course, we say the same and simply add, “Stay safe!”