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Wave of Fires and Disaster: Did Rabbi Kanievsky Warn of Potential Tragedy in Advance?

Terrible fires raged last weekend across Israel. The firefighting operation was called “Esh Chama – Hot Fire”. Painfully, the fire took the life of a three-year-old boy Elad Prizat, and his 4-year-old brother was seriously injured.
Thousands of fires raged in many places across the country, firefighters and rescue forces fought for 41 consecutive hours. As a result of the tragic fire, 3,400 acres of JNF land were burned, 4,540 acres of INPA land, 40 houses in Mevo Modi'in and 10 houses in Kibbutz Harel.
As noted, just a week before the tragedy, Rabbi Kanievsky's rare letter was publicized, in which he noted that “desecrating Shabbat in public constitutes a great danger to the entire community in the Holy Land.” Because of his letter and explicit instruction, tens of thousands of Jews gathered in synagogues around the country on Thursday night to recite Psalms, blow shofar and recite selichot.
The letter was written by Rabbi Chaim Feinstein, head of the Ateret Shlomo Yeshiva, signed by Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein.
The letter mentions the words of the Talmud in tractate Shabbat 119b, which brings the verse in the Prophet Jeremiah chapter 17. These are the words of the Talmnud in tractate Shabbat: “Rav Yehuda the son of Rav Shmuel the son of Rav said, fire is not found except where there is desecration of the Sabbath, as it is written “And if you will not hearken to Me to hallow the Sabbath day and not to carry burdens … I will kindle a fire in her gates, and it will consume the palaces of Jerusalem, and it will not be quenched (Jeremiah 17,27).

The original letter in Hebrew:



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