Posted on | January 19, 2009 | By Guest Contributor | 20 Comments
The Crash of the Heavens.
The Power, Mercy and Wisdom of the Almighty Creator and the Miracle of Flight 1549.
by Dovid Zechariah Schwartz
Dovid Schwartz is writing now at the Zeh Journal
The miracle of Flight 1549, the US Airways jet that had both engines knocked out by birds and safely landed on the Hudson River, saved not only the lives of all 150 passengers and 5 crew members aboard. In a spectacular suspension of the laws of probability and nature, the jet avoided one of our deepest fears: it did not collide with any of the hundreds upon hundreds of densely-populated buildings surrounding Manhattan Island, greater New York City and eastern New Jersey.
But more than that, in a very real sense, it drove home a stunning portrait of the power and mercy of the Almighty Creator.
Governor David Paterson rightly declared the event a miracle. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg credited the “masterful” control of the aircraft displayed by the pilot. These two statements aren’t contradictory.
Mr. Sullenberger, a pilot who has flown for almost three decades for United Airlines, and a retired military fighter pilot, deserves great praise for his heroism. He demonstrated consummate skill in guiding the troubled plane to safety. But the skill of the pilot alone does not fully account for this salvation.
The Almighty G-d acts to imbue human beings with added awareness, control and coolness of mind. These traits are something that a trained fighter pilot like Mr. Chesley Sullenberger III had the ability to access, in general, but they are by no means generated by the intrinsic nature of the pilot himself. The Almighty Creator acts through human beings by giving added awareness to those who are worthy of helping Him carry out His great designs.
There is the skill that allowed Mr. Sullenberger to safely land the plane. But behind that, there was the will of the Almighty Creator Who allowed Mr. Sullenberger to use his full gifts of skill and control. And even more stunning, it was the will of the Almighty that the whole situation should have unfolded in such a shocking manner. Many people were left scratching their heads, saying, “Two birds can take out a plane’s engine?” The calamity, the disaster, and the threat all show the Almighty’s power.
We might understand the involvement of the Divine influence through human beings in the following manner. Human consciousness itself is bounded, and the ability to perceive danger and respond appropriately takes an enormous influx of awareness that, sadly, is not granted to many people on a constant basis. The ability to perceive danger, and to respond appropriately, is often generated by the desire and initiative of each human being himself. One who seeks to deepen his understanding of the world is rewarded by the Almighty Creator with greater insight and understanding. Those who do not stir themselves to seek understanding are often left the passive victims of the the winds of fate and chance.
With that said, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on two important lessons of faith that we can take from the miracle of Flight 1549. The first is the supreme power, and the second is the loving mercy of the Almighty Creator.
First, we see G-d’s power, from the way He was able to take out the plane in such an extraordinary fashion. Many people first suspected terrorism was involved in the downing of the airliner. It seemed laughable that such a sleek, powerful tool of technology can be rendered completely useless by a flock of geese. But whatever He wants to do, the Almighty G-d makes it happen. G-d has many messengers, and He may bring an event through the hands of terrorists, or through the flight of a couple of Canadian geese if He chooses.
Second, we can see from this miracle the mercy of the Creator, that G-d cares about human beings. Human life is valuable in His eyes, and He can sometimes perform miracles to interrupt the order of nature to protect and save human beings.
This salvation is also a rebuke to pagans who hold that the world is merely a collection of intermingling, independent forces. Pagans (and their modern-day offspring, atheists and secularists) view human beings as the pinnacle of all creation and pretend that man is free to engage at his leisure in taking up whatever powers that suit his fancy. Alternatively, other dogmas hold that the world is a fixed, monolithic block of powers where even the Almighty Gd Himself is powerless to intervene, G-d forbid, to save human beings.
The ability of the Almighty Creator to suspend the laws of probability and the raging forces of nature demonstrates His supreme power over all other forces.
Not only the power of the Almighty Creator was displayed when He interrupted the natural order to save Flight 1549. Also, the love of the Almighty Creator for human beings was displayed by His great mercy in saving every passenger, down to an infant in its mothers arms.
The fact that the Almighty Creator cared enough about human beings to save each and every passenger and crew member from death, against the natural order of the world, deals a sharp rebuke to ruthless religious extremists who give little value to human life as they try to advance their ideological and political goals. The vicious pretense of “suicide bombings” and calls for martyrdom in the name of radical religion shows how little these extremists value human life. People who claim that they are acting on behalf of G-d when they intentionally murder and hide themselves behind unarmed civilians are liars and frauds of the most sinister type.
It may be no coincidence that the day this miracle fell on was also the day it was announced that one of the dark masters of violence and bloodshed, one of the top commanders of the Hamas terrorist organization, Said Siam, his name should rot, was wiped off the earth by soldiers for the State of Israel in Gaza. This man championed a philosophy of brute force, bloodshed and uncompromising resistance at any cost. Callous disrespect for human life was evident by his planned attacks, and his cowardly hiding behind, unarmed civilians.
Because the world is interconnected, and all under the guidance and direction of the One G-d, in this writer’s opinion, a military victory that advances the cause of safety, accountability, justice and stability for civilization can have massive ripple effects in strengthening the Divine human spirit in every person, throughout the world. These miracles increase the sum total of salvations in the world, and we hope it may bring us a little closer to behold the ultimate in salvations, when the whole earth is united in cooperation and mutual self-interest guided by a recognition of the power and mercy of Almighty Creator and an acceptance of His wisdom in the authority of His laws.
Sadly enough, the inspiration of miracles dissipates quickly. Every person who was moved by this stirring event should turn this inspiration into action. Now is the time to take out a book, do an internet search, or talk to a reliable authority about deeping our own relationship with the Almighty Creator. The Almighty G-d has entrusted the laws that bind all mankind, called the Seven Laws of Noah, for safekeeping to the faithful Jewish people (also known as “Orthodox” Jews. These laws for all the nations are a separate set of laws from the 613 that bind the Jewish people themselves.
Throughout their history, the Jewish people have focused mainly on learning and elucidating the laws appliable to them alone. But every human being has a share in joining in a robust investigation and dialogue about the ways in which the Almighty Creator expects all people to conduct ourselves, in the laws that form the universal standard for all mankind. Why let this miracle fly by, when we can use the opportunity to reach back up to G-d and invite Him to come into our own lives as well?