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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes    

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Every time you pick up a paper, or surf a website, you’ll probably find out about some other potential threat to your safety. If it’s not swine flu, it’s Deep Water...


A long time ago, a very bad ‘B’ movie came out called ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’. I only watched half of it, so I’m not entirely sure what was going on, but I remember a whole bunch of massive tomatoes bouncing all over a small town in the middle of Nowheresville, USA, and crushing people to death.
Part of the film’s appeal was its ridiculous title. I mean, who ever heard of ‘killer tomatoes’? Who ever heard of vegetables killing anyone?
But then, a few weeks’ ago, one of my friends from outside of Israel called me to tell me about a terrible E-coli outbreak that had killed a load of people across Europe. The authorities weren’t really sure what had caused the outbreak, so in the meantime they were warning people to stay away from cucumbers and tomatoes.
“Don’t eat any veg, it could kill you!” my friend said, and I’m still not sure if she was joking.
I put the phone down, and I pondered on a world gone mad, a world where millions of people were living in fear of the contents of their salad bowl.
Up the road from where I live, there is an old sewage plant. Most of the time its fine, but every now and then, the wind blows the wrong way, or the plant gets overwhelmed, and there’s a nasty smell that drifts throughout my village. It’s not pleasant when it happens, but I didn’t think it was really such a big deal.
Until a couple of weeks’ ago, when someone sent round an email about the potential harmful side-effects of all the chemicals being used at the plant.
For a day or two after I saw that email, I had a small panic. For a day or two, I worried about all the implications, all the dangers, all the potential health issues – and then, my emuna kicked in, and I relaxed.
The last place I lived in had one of the best physical environments in the country. It had a high elevation, very little heavy industry, and bracing clean air. My oldest daughter developed asthma within a month of us moving there, and by the time we left, she was using her puff three times a day and had been under the weather for months and months.
Within a month of moving to our present location, her asthma improved considerably, her eczema cleared up a lot, and she got the color back in her face, and the light back in her eyes.
Very shortly after we moved here last year, G-d fixed it that I spoke to a person that told me all about the crop-dusting problems that were going on where we lived; and all about the chemicals being used at the sewage plant across the way.
For a day, I felt like maybe I’d jumped out of the frying pan, only to jump straight into the fire. But then, I went to speak to G-d about it all, and He reassured me. “Just look at how your children are thriving here! Look at how much happier they are! Yes, there are some environmental ‘issues’ to pray about, but spiritually, you are in a great place!”
At the same time, I heard a Rav Arush CD where he was talking about a letter he’d got from someone who had the chance to move their family from the frequently-rocketed town of Sderot, to the much ‘safer’ suburbs of Tel Aviv.
Rav Arush told the person to stay put. He told them that they were much ‘safer’ spiritually, in a dangerous place – with Hashem – than in an apparently calmer place without Him.
Every time you pick up a paper, or surf a website, you’ll probably find out about some other potential threat to your safety. If it’s not swine flu, it’s Deep Water. If it’s not Islamo-Fascist terror, it’s nuclear contamination. If it’s not carcinogens in margarine, it’s E-coli bacteria on cucumbers.
If you forget to see Hashem behind all these ‘issues’, you can literally drive yourself mad trying to run away from all the dangers in the world. Stop eating vegetables! Stop living next to cancer-causing cell phone antennas! Stop breathing in the poisonous air! Move away to the desert! Worry yourself to death!
But the truth is, that we can’t run away from G-d. The truth is, that for as long as G-d wants us around, we’ll be around – and the opposite is also true, G-d forbid.
Once I realized that the root cause of everything is G-d, and that the root solution to everything is G-d, I stopped worrying about the pesticides, and the antennas, and the terrorists and the killer tomatoes.
In this modern world, we all like to believe that man is in control of every tiny detail - but really, we don’t control anything. If we’re disconnected from G-d, that is a terrifying thought. But if we’re working on our relationship with the A-lmighty, that’s actually profoundly reassuring. I know I’m not in charge, but I know Who is – and He only and always wants what’s best for me.
Who knows what the next ‘scare’ will be: poisonous cornflakes, carcinogenic toothpaste, melting ice-caps, tortoise flu, whatever… All I know is that I spend a lot of my time asking G-d to keep looking after me and my family, and to keep us out of harm’s way.
And whether we’re talking about nuclear bombs, car crashes, illnesses or killer tomatoes, that’s really the best – and the only - safeguard there is.

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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  So true
Gila8/17/2011 7:54:08 AM

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