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Yom Kippur and the Shuttle

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Rabbi Berel Wein

19 Adar I 5763
Question
If one believes the Yom Kippur Service, Col. Ramon’s fate was sealed last Yom Kippur and the failure of the Columbia Shuttle was inevitable. Does God also determine the fate of non-Jews on Yom Kippur, or is it just chance that brought the other astronauts to be in the same shuttle as Col Ramon?
Answer
The question of hasgacha pratit over non-Jews has been debated over the centuries by scholars and philosophers. The prevailing opinion is that there is an element of hashgacha pratit for all human beings and that random fate is not part of Jewish belief. Best wishes.
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