16 December 2013

Responding to YWN Mailbag

13 Tevet 5774

In response to: YWN Mailbag: ‘The Prime Minister is Out of Touch’

I wrote the following...

I understand that you were very worried and uncomfortable when you wrote this, but surely you know, at some level, that this storm and the resulting damage was not the handiwork of the Prime Minister. You found a good excuse - his being "out of touch" - to throw all your frustrations onto the Prime Minister, but seriously, your litany of complaints were nothing he could have done anything about. There are two who were responsible for your situation being what it was - HKB"H and YOU.

Take this experience as a hard wake-up call (the softer ones had all gone unheeded). Stop thinking it's someone else's responsibility to take care of you and your family. Don't fall into the trap of thinking things will always be nice and comfortable and business as usual. Sure, the weather has never been like this in our lifetimes, but we are under constant threat of war. Did you never imagine that public services could be disrupted by a full-scale war? Did you never imagine that Iran might explode an EMP weapon over our heads and send us back to the stone age?

This is perhaps your last warning to take responsibility for your own and your family's welfare and prepare for the worst that could happen. Be prepared to live in this land as our forefathers did for the past 4,000 years before the modern era. This was their daily norm!

Having accustomed ourselves to so much ease and comfort, it will be difficult, but HKB"H will see us through.


  1. I actually read in a different forum a complaint about refrigerated food having been ruined because of the electrical outage.

    Seriously? They left the food in the refrigerator to ruin when the outside temperatures were equal to (or less than) that of a working fridge? Or, if they were in an area with snow, did they not think to turn their fridge into an old-time "icebox" and stuff the freezer with snow brought in from outside?

    This is the time to start learning to think outside the box that we have created for ourselves. Our time and the amenities which we have come to expect have been the exception not the norm.

  2. I cannot emphasize this enough - we have taken our modern way of life too much for granted!

    Stockpile warm clothes and blankets, non-perishable food, some fuel for heat and cooking. Be prepared to do without refrigeration. Have enough bottled water on hand to last you until you can walk to a natural source for more. If you don't have a natural source within walking distance, think about digging a well or building a cistern. Download from the internet NOW, while you still have the chance, instructions for first aid or delivering a baby or any other skill you might need if cut off from access to a hospital. First aid supplies go without saying.

    Feel free to add your own ideas and suggestions.

  3. Going full prepper is not an option for most - if only due to the cost (given that most people are living paycheck to paycheck). Further, most of those ancient ways of life you mentioned were COMMUNITIES surviving together - combining skills and effort for public works (the cistern, the well, etc) and bartering.

    And of course, being the only one with lights / food / heat / whatever - next makes you a target for those who didn't prepare. I notice you didn't mention defensive preparations.

    So it's one thing to be prepared for life interruptions - being able to go a week or a month without outside help. Food / heat / water / medicines and first aide. For more than that you better have stocked a cave and be prepared to defend it OR have prepared with your community.

  4. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was advising people to go "full-prepper." Two weeks to a month tops was what I had in mind. Beyond that, it will become a communal effort and thank God, Israel is best equipped for that since most Jews are already living in one community or another. Come to think of it, it would not be a bad idea for the heads of each community to come together and create a long-term contingency plan for different possible scenarios. Jews will pull together. I don't see a need for defensive measures against fellow Jews, but we should always bear in mind that our enemies live just across the wadi from us and will not hesitate to take advantage of an opportunity. If the central government should for any reason be unable to act, communities should be well-prepared to act on their own (like the yishuvim). There is no excuse for Jews in Eretz Yisrael to live cut off from each other as the goyim do among the nations. We are a family! The main idea is that everyone should prepare to whatever level hey are able - some more, some less - with the idea that those with more will be able to share. In our small and compact society, that is not an unrealistic goal. A well or cistern is absolutely a community responsibility. The cisterns all over the Nachlaot neighborhood in Yerushalayim were still in use until the middle of the 20th century. I don't know how accurate the information is, but I read that 97% of West Bank Arabs get their water from wells or cisterns?