Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles

The more one studies the sciences, the more one observes nature, the more one can appreciate G-d and His Creation.

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Phil Chernofsky,

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The topic of this Lead Tidbit is Miracles of Different Types. The title was chosen to see if you recognized the words from Fiddler on the Roof... or not.

Actually, that song from Fiddler is a good choice as a springboard, because it mentions the changing of Par'o's heart, the splitting of the Sea, the receiving of the Mahn.

The message of this Lead Tidbit is touched upon in at least two of the feature articles herein. It almost made me change topics to avoid repetition. Almost, but not quite. Because I have my own way of making the point and it will not be within other material - it will stand on its own. Anton Chekov wrote a short story called The Bet.

In it, a man wagered that he could survive 15 years of voluntary, solitary confinement. Without further story-line, here is one of his conclusions about the people of the world. "You are mad, and gone the wrong way.

You take falsehood for truth and ugliness for beauty. You would marvel if suddenly apple and orange trees should bear frogs and lizards instead of fruit..." His point, I believe, is that it would be amazing if an apple tree bore frogs, but it is no less amazing that apple trees bear apples. And many people don't see that.

All of Creation is miraculous. Nature is totally miraculous. The more one studies the sciences, the more one observes nature, the more one can appreciate G-d and His Creation. Once in a while, HKB"H suspends or reverses the Laws of Nature that He created, in order to make a special point or accomplish something out of the ordinary. In this week's sedra, we have many miracles related, and miracles within miracles.

Splitting of the Sea - a totally WOW experience. So amazing it was that the Torah testifies that the people finally Believed in HaShem and in Moshe His servant. But what happened when the waters returned to their natural state (drowning the Egyptians, as a result)? They then and we now must be able to stand at the shore of the sea and marvel at the vastness of the water. At the life in contains. At the minerals it contains. At its waves. Its buoyancy. All this is no less miraculous than the Splitting of the Sea. There are many, many answers to what is known as the Beit Yosef's Question - One day supply of oil (Chanuka, remember) lasted 8 days, therefore 7 days of miracle, why do we celebrate 8 days?

One answer is 7 days of celebrating the supernatural miracle of the oil and one day of celebrating the nature miracle that olive oil soaked up by a wick will burn so beautifully. Miracles come in different shapes. Open miracles have their purpose, but our challenge is to appreciate G-d for His many daily wonders.


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