From Jonathan Berliner-from his 2009 High Holidays Reader… sources available upon request.
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” On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquillity and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted. But REPENTANCE, PRAYER and CHARITY remove the evil of the Decree!” (trans. Wikipedia)
Who will liveâ€¦
On April 8, 2009, four armed pirates boarded the Maersk Alabama, a cargo ship rounding the Horn of Africa. 21 crewmembers were taken hostage. After a long stand-off with the US Navy and failed negotiations, SEAL snipers killed the three pirates holding Captain Phillips with just three shots as the captain jumped overboard.
Who will dieâ€¦
On Sept. 25, 2007, Michael Wayne Richard was scheduled to be executed in Texas for rape and murder. The defense filed for a stay of execution pending the review of another case, but missed the 5pm deadline. The Presiding Judge of Texas Court of Appeals, Sharon Keller, refused to hear the case, and Richard was executed that evening. On Feb 19, 2009, Keller was charged for judicial misconduct.
Who will die at his predestined timeâ€¦
The life expectancy of US citizens is 78.11, ranked #50 among nations (CIA Factbook). According to the Census Bureau, 46.6 million Americans were uninsured in 2005, about 1/6 of the population. 1/3 of Hispanics are uninsured.
Who will die before his timeâ€¦
On Sept. 11, 2009, 12-year-old Fawziya Abdullah Youssef died during her three-day labor for her stillborn child. Her marriage was arranged to a 24-year-old man (UNICEF).
Who by waterâ€¦
At Rockaway Beach, NYC, Jose-Luis Olivares rushed into the ocean to rescue his 8-year-old girl, who was floundering in the rough surf. She made it out alive, but he was pulled under and drowned (Newsday). 6 drowned at the beach this year.
Who by fireâ€¦
The 2009 California Wildfires, still burning, have burned more than 330,000 acres of land since August, destroyed hundreds of structures, and killed 2. The 2008 November Wildfire is considered one of the two worst wildfires in twenty years, according to CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Who by swordâ€¦
On Sept. 16, 2009, Romell Brown was to be executed in Ohio for the rape and murder of a child. After two hours of injecting Brown with poison and failing to complete the execution, the execution was stayed for another week. Brown was sobbing during the injections.
Who by beastâ€¦
On November 26-29, 2008, terrorists in Mumbai killed 173 people and wounded more than 300 others, in train stations, hotels, the Chabad house, and other places in the city.
Who by famineâ€¦
According to the World Bank, global food prices have increased by 83% in the past three years. (NYTimes 2008)
Who by thirstâ€¦
The World Glacier Monitoring Service reported in January 2009 that at the current rate, many glaciers, a source of fresh water, will recede in the middle of the 21st Century.
Why by stormâ€¦
On May 31, 2009, Air France 447 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for Paris, France. About 4 hours later, distress calls were heard as the aircraft disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean in a severe thunderstorm. On June 4, the first debris was found, and on June 6, the first body was found. Only 50 bodies were recovered. As the flight recorders were never found, the cause remains unknown in the worst disaster in French aviation history.
Who by plagueâ€¦
The H1N1 flu was first seen in the US in March 2009. As of late, it has infected more than 200,000 people worldwide, including about 44,000 in the US. About 4,000 have been killed, including almost 600 in the US. The cases double every 30 days, and the flu season has not even begun.
Who by strangulationâ€¦
Annie Le, a pharmacology student at Yale Medical School was due to be married on Sept. 13, 2009. On Sept. 8, she went missing. Her bloody corpse was found inside of the wall of the lab she was working in. Authorities determined she was strangled.
Who by stoningâ€¦
On Aug. 8, 2009, a 6-seat private aircraft collided with a helicopter carrying 5 Italian tourists collided over the Hudson River, killing 9 people in total.
Who will rest…
In the 1980’s, General Motors employed 349,000 people. It now employs 244,000, following bankruptcy. In 2009, Chrysler closed 789 dealerships. GM will close 14 more plants. In Dec. 2008, Chrysler shut down all 30 of its plants for one month to save cash.
Who will wander…
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, less than 20% of college graduates in 2009 who sought jobs found one.
Who will live in harmony…
Since June 2008, same-sex marriage has been conducted in CA, CT, IA, VT, ME, NH. MA legalized it in 2004. CA passed Proposition 8 banning it later in the year.
Who will be harried…
4 million people have been displaced as a result of the conflict in Darfur. About 2 million have returned home, and more than 2.2 million others are still displaced. (Refugees International)
Who will enjoy tranquility…
On August 19, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service signed an agreement with Swiss bank UBS, forcing the bank to hand over the identity of US account holders, nearly a century of official Swiss bank secrecy.
Who will suffer…
According to Realtytrac, about 2 million homes in the US are in foreclosure, projected to get worse in the coming fiscal year. NV: 1/61 houses in foreclosure. FL: 1/139. CA: 1/144.
Who will be impoverished…
According to the World Bank, 26% of the world’s population lived on under $1.25 of income per day, in 2005.
Who will be enriched…
Goldman Sachs set aside $11.4 billion for bonuses for the first half of 2009. If the same amount is set aside for the second half, the average bonus for every employee at the bank will be $773,000.
Who will be degraded…
March 19, 2009: Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav indicted for rape.
August 30, 2009: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert indicted for fraud.
July 23, 2009: Chief Syrian Rabbi Saul Kassin arrested.
Who will be exalted…