There are four kinds of Jews.
The Iraqi born, Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel and spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ascribes the recent disaster on the Carmel which claimed one-third of the National Park’s ecological splendor, and 43 lives, to desecration of Shabbat.
â€œFires only happen in a place where Shabbos is desecrated”
He said, quoting from the Talmud.
“Homes were ruinedâ€¦entire neighborhoods wiped out, and it is not arbitrary. It is all divine providenceâ€¦We must repent, keep Shabbos appropriately. When the People of Israel repent, God safeguards them with a wall of fire.”
Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hevron and Kiryat Arba said the fire was Divine punishment for giving away parts of the land of Israel to terrorists.
Only God knows what God thinks but here is what I can tell you:
For years, Israeli firefighters have complained of undersized crews, outdated equipment and minimal supplies. Israel only has 1,400 firefighters, far below the worldwide average. Israel does not have a single firefighting plane; and emergency crews actually ran out of flame retardants on the first day of the disaster.
The state’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, is responsible for Israel’s firefighting forces.
He refuses, though, to assume blame for the disaster which took 83 hours, at least, to extinguish and demanded assistance from several nations, including Palestinians. Yishai, amid the blaze, accused Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and treasury officials of turning down his requests to increase the firefighting budget.
Meanwhile, negligence, not intentional arson, seems to be the cause of the fire.
A 14-year-old resident of the Druze village, Usfiya, is suspected of igniting the inferno by throwing away a charcoal from a water pipe. Authorities are declining to confirm that an additional 13-year-old resident of the town has been questioned in recent hours.