• Home
  • Parashah Insights
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals & Fasts
  • Articles
  • Books
  • About
  •  

    The really great miracle – Mass’ei

    The journey of the Israelites

    How did our ancestors survive in the wilderness?

    Forty years of meandering, forty years of temporary encampments, forty years without permanent sources of food and water – and forty years of grumbling about their lot.

    For Maimonides, this was the greatest of the Biblical miracles.

    Yes, crossing the Red Sea was a miracle. The water coming from the rock was a miracle. So many remarkable things were miracles.

    But living under impossible conditions for forty years, maintaining normal activity, marrying, bringing up children, continuing with the day-to-day needs of family and community – all this, despite the grumbles, was also a miracle.

    We see miracles of that kind around us all the time. People who keep going in spite of their problems and limitations are doing a miraculous thing. People who have special-needs parents, spouses or children and hardly get a day’s respite – they too are nothing short of miraculous.

    The prayer book speaks of God’s miracles that are with us every day, season and hour. Those who framed the liturgy had in mind the daily blessing of life, air, sunshine, the human mind and heart and the Divine presence.

    They must also have taken into account the dignity of keeping on with life even when things were impossibly tough, the sort of miracle which Maimonides praised so greatly.

    Comments are closed.