Pesach: Are Miracles Still Possible

We live in an age that likes to consider itself logical and hard-headed. Although both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy o”h were listed as equal co-stars in Star Trek, almost everyone’s favorite was Spock. Miracles have very little place in most of our world-views (even if few of us could begin to offer a logical explanation of just the technology that fills our world, let alone all the other inexplicable events we experience) as we deal in terms of “realpolitik”, economic theory and what presents itself as “objective science” (an imaginary species yet to be discovered on this earth). I myself, in a previous article,  suggest that we make every effort, to avoid situations where we’re down to miracles to rescue us.

Pesach is nearly here and we’ll greatly extend our festival meal to talk at length about the miracle of Yetziat Mitzraim, the Exodus from Egypt. A week later we’ll celebrate another miracle, Kriyat Yam Suf, the splitting of the sea as we, transcending nature, walked across a huge body of water on dry land.

And yet we’re not supposed to rely on miracles.

Can we believe miracles are even possible in our empirical-only world of today? Can we, parallel with our own hard work, pray for Divine intervention and hope for miracles? I ask this not only in light of our contemporary secular culture, but also in terms of our own spiritual tradition. Are miracles, at best, just part of our mythology or can they take an active part in our present and future?

I propose a different question. Especially now, as the ultimate Geula, redemption, seems to some of us so close we can practically taste it, and while at the same time the challenges to our very existence seem so frighteningly reminiscent of that period just before The Shoah, Holocaust, can we afford to not acknowledge and accept the miracles, each as great and dramatic as our original exodus from Egypt, that accompany us every day? Even more than that, can we, while actively doing everything we can to avoid dependence on miracles, afford to not pray for them at all?

Moadim l’Simcha

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4 Responses to Pesach: Are Miracles Still Possible

  1. Jacques Ruda says:

    I do not think that we pray for miracles. Rather we pray to Hashem in the belief that he has a plan and ultimately whatever happens will be for the best. If in the course of that plan a “miracle” happens, we are grateful. Looking back, the fact my parents survived the Shoah was a miracle. I believe the Six Day War was a miracle. There are every day events that are miracles.For those I thank G-d and hope I am worthy of the kindness he has shown me. Have a kosher and joyful Pesach and a good Shabbos. Thank you for your always thoughtful and inspiring comments!

  2. Pingback: Friendship | Rabbi Zeitlin

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