Shas Council of Torah Sages Head Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said on Saturday night that the devastating Carmel fire was a result of insufficient Shabbat observance in the area.
“Fires only happen in a place where Shabbat is desecrated,” he quoted from the Babylonian Talmud Shabbat tractate in his weekly sermon. “Homes were ruined," he continued, "entire neighborhoods wiped out, and it is not arbitrary. It is all divine providence.”
“We must repent, keep Shabbat appropriately. When the People of Israel repent, God safeguards them with a wall of fire,” but not of the incinerating type, Yosef added.