He characterized it that HKBH felt the need to remind the world that it has a Supreme Manhig - Operator - and, in this case, He chose to show us that he leads us with an Amud Ha'annan - a pillar of cloud.
And he went on to tell us a fascinating story which illustrates how his Amud Ha'annan can be midas harachimim for his "followers" at the same time as it is a midas hadin for the non-believers. The story was as follows:
There is an observant Jew who lives in Kiryat Matersdorf here in Jerusalem who was suddenly stricken with acute liver failure. The doctors here knew that he would require a liver transplant. The leading hospital for liver diseases in the Eastern hemisphere, where virtually all liver transplants in Europe are performed, is located in Belgium. And so, the Matersdorf patient was rushed to Belgium for treatment. This must have occurred a few days prior to the mid-April volcanic eruption.
In Belgium it was confirmed that the patient requires a new liver. However, the prevailing policy was that citizens of the European Union have priority for all transplants in this hospital. Israel is not a member of the Euroean Union so our Israeli patient was not so accredited. This meant that even if a compatible liver should become available, as long as there are EU citizens in need who are likewise compatible, he is automatically at the bottom of the list. At the moment there were four other EU citizens with his blood profile awaiting liver transplants. Beside that, it wasn't too relevant because the hospital's butcher shop was out of liver.
As to be expected, this fellow tried to see what local connections and persuasions can be brought to play to neutralize his last place status. Whoever could be called was called and whoever might be bought was solicited and nothing could be accomplished not for love or money. He was still in last place and time was short.
Then, the volcano hiccupped and sent the Amud Ha'annan to northern Europe.
You can guess the rest of the story. Some fellow from Germany checked himself into the morgue (careful on that Autobahn) and was all too happy to yield a compatible liver. The liver would only be viable for a very limited time so it was rushed to Belgium by rail. The four people on the waiting list were all contacted and none of them were located in a place where they could get to Belgium within the critical time. The only patient on hand who could be a recipient for the life saving liver was our last place Israeli patient from Kiryat Matersdorf.
Shlomo HaMelech writes (Koheles 9:11): כי לא לקלים המרוץ ולא לגבורים המלחמה
...for the swiftest do not win all the races and the mightiest do not win all the battles...
HKBH leads the world. Usually behind a veil of "nature". But sometimes it is with a pillar of fire and sometimes it is with a pillar of cloud.
And every cloud has a silver lining.