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Be Reasonable. Expect a Miracle.

by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


Library » G-d » Belief in G-d | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Why don’t miracles happen anymore? In truth, if we could see all the miracles about us, we might be too stunned to take a step forward. Perhaps our lives are nestled in a pocket of natural events, born of a world of outrageous miracles. Here are a few thoughts, from our sages and others, on the nature of miracles.

A. Heisenberg has finally done away with the traditional scientific notion that cause and effect are somehow mechanically linked. Today it is quite unscientific to hold that one event is an inevitable consequence of another. There are only probabilities. With the 19th century dogmatic, mechanistic, and deterministic attitude of science out of the way, science can no longer be used as an excuse to reject events that defy the so-called, "Laws of Nature." —The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (adapted from a letter, 1972)

In truth, if we could see all the miracles about us, we might be too stunned to take a step forward. Perhaps our lives are nestled in a pocket of natural events, born of a world of outrageous miracles
B. These things people call amazing coincidences, synchronicity, small miracles—this is the way the world is supposed to work. It is only that the world is in slumber, like a sleeping person who does not see, does not hear, does not speak— so that nothing distinguishes his head from his feet, his heart from his brain. So too, the world lies deep in a dream where anything is possible, but nothing seems to have a goal, where only chaos reigns. . .

. . . It takes only one person to open his eyes, his ears, his mind and his heart, and the objects of this world fall into place and work together, as they were meant to be. —Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch (adapted from a talk, 1940)

C. There are four types of miracles:

1. Those that supersede nature entirely, such as occurred in the Exodus from Egypt. 2. Miracles flimsily dressed in a guise of nature, such as the victory of Chanukah and the Purim story. 3. Miracles of coincidence and synchronicity, where it is apparent that things out of the ordinary have occurred—yet all events have normal explanations. 4. Miracles that go unnoticed, perhaps even perceived as unfortunate. This last form is the greatest of all. A time will come when our eyes will open and we will see these hidden miracles and say, "The miracles of Egypt are nothing in comparison to these." —The Tzemach Tzedek (19th century)


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