“Cosmic calamity! Billions of dollars worth of damage to satellites and networks of electricity and radio! Global collapse of international communication! Blackouts from coast to coast! Power outages across entire continents!” These frightful headlines are only some of the dire predictions of astronomers of what might happen in the near future, when a fierce solar storm hits earth.
The current scientific consensus, according to a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, is that a solar storm of such magnitude hits earth approximately once every hundred years. Solar storms occur when streams of high-energy particles off the surface of the sun form electromagnetic clouds, millions of kilometers in diameter. These clouds emit tons of burning plasma, which gallop through space at speeds of millions of kilometers per hour. When a solar wind hits earth, it can cause lasting changes in the earth's magnetic field, which, in turn, can blow out our finely tuned electrical power grids.
In the technological situation of today, which is based on delicate high tech and electronic instruments, it is highly unpleasant to think about the mess that could result from a powerful solar storm. However, our sages, of blessed memory, thought differently. They, too, foresaw a sudden solar storm--but envisioned something far different than what the scientists predict.
“In the future to come, the holy One blessed be He will withdraw the sun from its shield. The evil ones will be judged by her and the righteous will be healed.” (The righteous in this case includes every Jew, as the verse states, “Your nation are all tzadikim.”) I.e., there will be indeed those who will be affected negatively by to the new cosmic climate, but only those who are evil. In a manner that is presently not explicable scientifically, the radiation from the sun will harm only those who are evil, while at the same time benefiting those who are in the category of “tzadikim.”
Nevertheless, it is already possible today to see examples of this matter in the physical dimension. For example, radiation can be used as a cure, but can also do severe damage. In the language of the Torah, there is an explanation for this. Solar radiation is the result of a great G-dly revelation. Those who are prepared to receive this revelation—“tzadikim”—will not be harmed, and will benefit. However, those who are not equipped with adequate protection will be harmed.
The scientists themselves recommend strongly that we prepare for a severe solar event. To prepare the satellites and broadcast networks for any possible scenario. We know one preparation that is the most efficient: Prepare for the coming of Moshiach! With an outpouring of acts of love and kindness, a great deal of Torah study and prayers, we will hasten the Geulah, may it come immediately.
Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover is chairman of the Center of Magnetohydrodynamic Studies and Training at Ben-Gurion University.