As I write these words from the safety of my home, with the weather outside beautiful and calm, people in other parts of America (and the Caribbean) are suffering terrible upheaval. Lives have been lost. Families have been torn apart. Houses have been destroyed. Whole islands have been devastated.
So, I do not write this lightly. In fact, I think of the famous dictum of Rabbi Irving Greenberg when talking about the Holocaust. "No statement," he said, "theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children." (He was referring, of course, to Jewish children who were thrown into the fire by the Nazis.)
In that same spirit (and without intending in any way to compare the Holocaust to today's natural disasters), we should make no statement, theological or otherwise, about Hurricane Harvey and Irma (along with the fires in the west) that could not be made in the presence of families who have lost loved ones (or, lost everything else).