Friday, August 27, 2010

The Hot Springs of Teveria

The hot springs in various cities in Europe were considered an excellent way to convalesce for the ill. Unfortunately, many people lost their spiritual bearings in the materialistic environment of the spas, making it seem hardly worth the effort. After all, they went to recover from physical illnesses, not to contract new spiritual maladies.
When Rav Dovid of Dinov, zt”l, was in a certain town that featured such a spring he was horrified to see that many people absolutely lost any vestige of Torah or fear of heaven. They cast off all inhibitions and acted exactly like the non-Jews around them.
Rav Dovid wryly commented, “Our sages teach that the hot springs of Teveria were a vestige of the great floodwaters that destroyed virtually all of creation. On the surface this seems strange. For what purpose did Hashem leave over a remembrance of the flood in this form? Presumably the answer is that Hashem foresaw that people would have claims on Him for destroying an entire generation. After all, what exactly could they have done to warrant such severe punishment? He left waters such as these to form spas where people will again descend into the moral bankruptcy of the flood, since thousands of people flock to these places and act in a reprehensible manner. These springs are spread all over the world to demonstrate time and time again how people acted during the generation of the flood. In this way, we see their corrupt behavior and understand that Hashem’s ways are all just.”

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