fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,


Today’s holidailies prompt, appropriately for Chanukah, has to do with miracles. That gives me an excuse to rant on how I think most people entirely misunderstand just what a miracle is.

It’s easy to see the big miracles. Whether it be oil lasting eight nights instead of just one or splitting the Red Sea – or, more prosaically, people surviving a hazardous event - people easily turn around and thank G-d for those. But I actually have a problem with events like that. Namely, it shouldn’t take disrupting the natural order of the world to make people thankful. (There is, by the way, a story in the Talmud that supports my idea. It has to do with a man whose wife has died and who sprouts breasts to feed his child. This is not actually viewed as a good solution.)

Where I think the real miracles lie is twofold. Part is in the sheer complexity of our world and how well it functions. No matter what our progress in prosthetics and artificial intelligence and so on, we are nowhere near duplicating the efficiency of the human body. We don’t entirely understand how everything in the world works, but what we do understand should make us appreciate creation all the more.

The other aspect of miracles is in what, for lack of a better term, I will call the human spirit. People can and do break, of course, but it is amazing how much people can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and thrive even after horrific experiences. If I were an alien studying anthropology, I doubt I would be able to predict that people who survived events like the Shoah, the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia, the Rwandan genocide, etc. would be able to rebuild their lives and move on.
Tags: holidailies

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