Two Kinds of Miracles: Nature Defying and Nature Friendly

Friday, 5 April, 2024 - 2:04 pm

Some miracles are nature defying.

While other miracles are quite natural. The miracle is that the natural components have lined up and are working with exact balance and precision.

A friend of mine told me about his brother who was cheated out of a million dollars’ worth of merchandise. When he tried to recoup his losses, he was threatened by some bad people. He didn’t take the threat seriously. A few days later when he pulled up to a meeting with a customer, he noticed a box-like contraption attached to the bottom of his car. Naively, he removed it from the car chassis and took it into his customer’s office. The customer took one look, noticed some wires protruding and called for an evacuation of the entire office while the bomb squad was called. The bomb squad confirmed that this was an explosive device, intended to detonate when he turned the ignition.

For no obvious reason, one of the wires came loose and the bomb never went off.

A nature altering miracle.

The young man was shaken to the core and consulted his rabbi about how to gives thanksgiving to Hashem. He suggested that he start to keep Shabbat properly and distribute Tzedaka money to the needy. The young man took his rabbi’s advice seriously. The keeping of Shabbat was such a blessing in his life that many of his relatives also followed his example and became fully engaged in Torah and Mitzvot.

Someone else told me a story about the dollar he had received from the Lubavitcher Rebbe when he was a young man. He described the incredible feeling of being in the presence of a Tzadik whose gentle eyes seemed to read him like an x-ray. He took the dollar and kept it under the cash in the cash register for mazal and blessing.

One day a robber came in and pointed a gun at his head. ‘Give me all the money in the till’ said the thief. My friend handed over the contents of the cash register.

Once the thief had the money, my friend asked him if he would mind giving him back the bottom dollar which was a ‘lucky’ dollar. Much to his surprise the thief agreed immediately and handed him back the dollar of blessing that he had received from the Rebbe.

Miraculous outcome. In the fact that he wasn’t shot at close range. And in the fact that the criminal agreed to give him back the dollar of blessing. Not necessarily nature defying but rather a ‘nature friendly’ miracle.

This Shabbat represents an incredible fusion of miraculous energy.

On the one hand Purim is still ‘in the air’. We are about to celebrate the ninth and ‘grand finale’ shabbat of the sixty days of the two joyous months of Adar.

And Pesach is also around the corner. On this Shabbat we announce and bless the Head of the month of Nissan that begins on Tuesday.

Thus, the Shabbat combines the highest level of Purim energy with the ‘head’ and ‘nerve-center’ of Pesach energy.

Miracles are the common theme of Purim and Pesach.

Pesach represents nature shattering miracles. Wearing down Pharoh’s resistance by bringing the ten plagues and forcing him to release the Israelites. Splitting the sea. Raining down the miracle food called ‘manna’.

While Purim represents gradual miracles disguised as coincidences. It took ten years for the Purim miracle to unfold. It seemed much like a political intrigue. With Queen Vashti being deposed, Queen Esther the Jewess becoming the new queen. Mordechai saving the king’s life. Haman overstepping his boundaries of arrogance. The Jewish people being given permission to bear arms and fight their intended killers. The Jews being victorious in battle.

We need both kinds of miracles in Israel. On the battlefield. For the hostages. To heal the wounded.

We need all kinds of miracles for the protection and success of the Jewish Nation world over.

And of course we need the ultimate miracle of PEACE IN THE WORLD with the coming of Mashiach.

This is a Shabbat where both kinds of miracles are ‘in the air’.

Let us begin to usher in this miraculous atmosphere by resolving to leave our usual and habitual ‘nature’.

Let us kick start the flow of supernatural energy by jumping a bit higher than usual and exiting our comfort zone.

Study a bit more Torah. Help out your fellow a bit more generously than you usually would. Be a bit more patient and forgiving with things that usually irritate you and set you off.

And resolve to celebrate Passover the holiday of liberation by eating matzah and ridding your home from chametz.

And watch how Hashem provides you the energy and wherewithal to fulfil your holy desire to better yourself, your society, and the entire world.

With blessings for a Shabbat Shalom and a Chodesh Tov (Tuesday is Rosh Chodesh).

And early wishes of Chag Hapesach Kasher Vesameach – Happy and Kosher Passover!

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

PS below are links for seder reservations in Thailand.

And here is a link to help sponsor the thousands of visitors expected a the thirteen seders spread throughout Thailand.

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