I didn't find ideas about hurricanes specifically yet, but in the meantime, here is an article on natural disaster that was written by Rabbi Berel Wein:
(The image to the left is called "Hurricane on Earth" by Photokanok, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
I was in the United States when the disaster of Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and its southeast Gulf Coast. It seems that natural disasters are regular events in the lives of millions of human beings. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and hurricanes are all regular visitors, if not permanent residents on our planet. The overwhelming forces of nature make mockery of humankind’s efforts at taming them. There is much public and political opinion afoot in the United States not to rebuild the city of New Orleans in its present location because of its vulnerability to flooding. In effect, this opinion proposes a twenty-first century surrender to nature and its wrathful and destructive unpredictability. Its admission of defeat is a humbling reminder of how puny humans are in relation to natural disasters. All of our great technological achievements and creations, gifted and wondrous as they are, still cannot overcome the forces of nature implanted by our Creator in our world. There is little room for human pride and hubris in the face of the devastation brought upon us by such a natural disaster as Hurricane Katrina. We stand in mute shock at witnessing the forces of nature beyond our control or even our imagination.
When I was a rabbi in Miami Beach in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s my family and I experienced three direct hits from hurricanes. Those hurricanes invariably occurred during the month of Elul, the month of introspection and preparation for the High Holy Days and the Days of Judgment. It was and still is customary in the world of the yeshivot to, during that part of the year, deliver mussar schmuessen – lectures on morality, ethics, ritual observance and the importance of serving God in our lives. These talks are powerful in content and delivery and are a wonderful tool in helping one enter into the true solemnity of spirit that mark the High Holy Days. But after my congregation’s experiences with the hurricanes, I felt that any words that I might have said or lectures that I might have delivered would have been hollow and unnecessary. A hurricane is a pretty impressive and awesome mussar schmuess all by itself. No human being’s words of wisdom can improve upon it. If one is not sufficiently humbled by the power of a hurricane’s winds, rains and tides then the most inspiring of speeches will also avail nothing in conquering the unwarranted arrogance and haughtiness that infects many people.
The main message of Elul and of the High Holy Days is one of humility. The finite is limited and insignificant before the Infinite. The Psalmist states: “What is man that You should care to know him, human beings that You should deem them to be important?” Natural disasters remind us of this fact of mortality, of human failings and weaknesses. But it is only through humility that one can find true spirituality and a connection to God. God is not necessarily in the earthquake and the hurricane itself. God is found in the still small voice of humility and helplessness that comes after the awesome display of His nature’s might and fury. Only when hubris and haughtiness are conquered within a person’s soul, mind, behavior and outlook, is there then room for the Godly spirit to enter that person’s inner self. And in one of the strange but true paradoxes of human nature only the humble can achieve true and lasting spiritual greatness.
Why does God employ natural disasters to inform us of the importance of humility? Why does He allow for such great human suffering for so many seemingly blameless people? I certainly do not know how to answer or even deal with these troubling questions. Man cannot understand or fathom God’s methods for dealing with this world. However, because we cannot satisfactorily explain something does not allow us to ignore its obvious lessons. The still, small voice is preceded by hurricanes, volcanoes and earthquakes. If we leave immediately after the display of noise and power and do not stay around to hear the small voice that can emanate within us from witnessing and experiencing such disasters, then it is truly only a random disaster that strikes us. However, if it allows moments of introspection and leads us to an understanding of the necessity of humility and kindness in our lives, then the natural disaster, unwanted and inexplicable as it is, may have value for each of us, especially in this month of Elul.
I'm assuming that your question is: Why should we be so privileged? What's with the exclusivity? Well, first we've gotta establish: what are the implications of being part of the "Chosen People?" For this, we have to define the word: Israel. Israel is typically associated with the Nation of Israel, or the Land of Israel, but, actually, Israel is a concept, and those two examples (the nation and the land) are expressions of the concept. They are manifestations of Israel, they are not the essence of Israel.
OK. So what is the "Concept of Israel?" I'd say that a good starting definition is: 'Israel' is the vehicle, or the method through which the Almighty fulfills His purpose in this-here world that He created.
Working with this definition, the idea that 'Israel' should have expression in a particular group of people means that the said group of people is going to be central in the process of the Almighty's fulfilling His purpose in the world.
So far so good?
Next: Why should one group be chosen over another? It is really more a matter of choosing, rather than being chosen. By this I mean: The group that was willing to accept the responsibilities involved in being the Nation that plays this role in the Creator's master plan, gets chosen.
But, better yet: Why shouldn't it be that whoever wants to be a part of that process can decide to be? The answer to that second question is: Correct! It is that way. Anyone at all can decide to be a part of that process. How? By joining up with those who have already joined up. That entails signing up for membership. Membership obviously has it's privileges, but it also entails responsibilities. So joining up means that you are ready to live by the commandments that the Almighty gave to those who elected to fill this role. But anybody who is so inclined to rise up to the challenge and privilege of being a part of the process whereby the Almighty fulfills His purpose for having given existence to existence, may do so provided that they successfully demonstrate that they are serious about accepting the duties that the role entails.
The truth is: the question is the opposite. Let me explain. According to Judaism, if you're born Jewish, which is just another way of saying: part of the Nation of Israel, then you're stuck with it. You may try to walk away from it, but we'll always consider you to be Jewish. Even if you become an enemy of the Jewish People, if and when you decide to come around, then you do NOT need to go through any conversion process. You were Jewish all along, and you still are. Not only that, but even if you never return, if you are a woman then your children are Jewish, no matter how far you stray from Judaism. And if you are a man, as long as the mother of your children is Jewish, then your kids are Jewish, no matter how vehement an enemy of Israel you have become. You can't shake it. If you're Jewish then you're stuck with it. Now, wouldn't it be more fair if you had the choice as to whether or not you wanted to be a part of this process? If you're into it, then great. But if you're not, then: "adios pardner." Why is it fair that you should be stuck with this "privilege that comes with all these responsibilities?"
The state in which a person actually has such a choice is precisely the state of a person who is not born Jewish. If he (or she) is interested in stepping up to the plate, then he may do so. If he'd prefer to pass, then he may do so.
So we now have the ironic situation where it may actually be more politically correct to be born not Jewish rather than to be born Jewish!
This is actually a very important question, but it is not the question that was asked. If the intent of your question was: the problem of exclusivity, then I would suggest that the question is answered: There is no exclusivity. Anybody may join up. And many do, by the way. Some of the greatest members of the Nation of Israel of all time were converts or the descendants of converts.
I know full well that we touched upon many issues that we didn't resolve. But whadaya think? We can address all of the side-issues in one post?
All the best