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Monday, January 09, 2006

"Whether or not what we experienced was an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God"

Jameel's post today about miracles got me thinking about the topic of miracles.

What exactly are miracles?

We so often hear the term and have absolutely no idea what it really means. If you look it up in the dictionary (Oxford), it states: “an extraordinary event attributed to some supernatural agency.” So in other words, a miracle is something that happens that couldn’t have occurred unless their was some sort of intervention (supernatural).

When people think of the concept of miracles, they think of “grand” events that have happened throughout history. Everyone in the world have different religions and beliefs that they follow. Therefore, depending on your religion/beliefs, prime examples of miracles could be the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus turning stones to bread, and Daniel being saved in the lions den. These miracles happened thousands of years ago, so how could they be related to our day to day lives? Especially in the agnostic world we live in. The fact is that if you look carefully at the world around us, you can see miracles happening every single day.

Simply by opening the paper you can see numerous examples day to day. Who hasn’t heard the stories of people who worked in the twin towers who “uncharacteristically” were late going to work on that fateful September 11th morning (due to a bris, slichot, or the West hempstead train not showing up) or the story of hand grenades being thrown during a terror attack (terror attack on Yoel Solomon street in Jerusalem on October 9, 1994) that never exploded (and yes, the pins had been pulled). Some people will excuse these stories as “luck” or perhaps coincidence or even stupidity on the part of the terrorists. I reject that. I don’t believe that there really is something called coincidence. Everything in the world happens for a reason; whether it be for good or bad.

My personal explanation of the term miracle is something that occurs that shouldn’t have naturally occurred. In October 1993, when I was in the IDF, I was witness to a miracle and I will never forget the events of that day. It was about 6 or 7 weeks into basic training and we were spending the week out in the field in the middle of the desert. On the third day, we were doing an exercise which involved digging trenches. Digging trenches in the sand of the desert isn’t a very easy task. When you scoop sand out from one side, it flows back in from the other. Once we finished digging, we were instructed to lie down in the trenches and put our gas masks on, and remain alert. Our commanders silently crept around and proceeded to “kill” us one by one in order to show us how insufficient our trenches were.

When they had finished “killing” everyone, we were instructed to gather for target practice. The commanders made a head count to made sure that everyone was present and then we set up the targets in front of a low dune. They chose ten of us, myself included, and had us all line up in front of the targets. We were then ordered to place our full ammunition clip on the ground 25 meters or so in front of our specified target and then to gather together 200 meters from the targets.

On the commanders orders, we sprinted to our ammunition clips, loaded them and proceeded to shoot at the targets. Of the ten of us, eight guns jammed due to excessive sand in the chambers. The two that were able to shoot were at the opposite extremes of the line (numbers 1 and 10). Our commander then proceeded to yell at us for not keeping the sand out of our guns (an impossible task when one is in the desert). Someone then asked “Hey, where’s Yossi?” In response someone said jokingly, “Maybe he fell asleep in his trench.”

At this point all the shouting from the commander stopped and everyone started to look for the “missing” Yossi. After a few minutes, he was found; fast asleep in his trench… on the opposite side of the dune we were shooting at. If our guns hadn’t failed to shoot, Yossi probably would’ve been wounded or perhaps even killed.

Miracles don’t have to be “grand” or affect world events. It’s possible that a small miracle can save one person’s life, and leave a lasting impression on an entire platoon of Israeli soldiers. The trick is to believe that miracles can and do happen even when you might not even realize that they are occurring.

Does anyone else have personal stories that involved a "miracle"?






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The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

7 Comments:

At 4:01 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ze'ev said...

Pulp Fiction?

 
At 4:01 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

J-Cop; Well, there was my camera miracle that saved my life.

Other than that, I was shot at a few times and was very lucky not to be hit even once. Is that a miracle?

How about that I made aliya with $50 in my pocket, and built an excellent life here...is that miraculous?

Some of the stuff I learned in my MDA EMT course was totally miraculous. I guess a miracle is in the eye of the beholder.

 
At 5:47 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger westbankmama said...

I think that anytime a baby is born it is a miracle.

Great post.

 
At 5:57 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

ze'ev - very good guess, you get the prize today

Jameel - yep, its definately in the eyes of the beholder, but I guess the real question would be how would someone who doesnt believe in god view these "daily" miracles.

WBM - I cant believe I forgot that one. Every time I look at my 5 month old son, I am reminded of the miracle of miracles, life.

Thanks

 
At 8:55 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger ifyouwillit said...

A couple of years back I heard Rabbi Orlofsky speak, and he pointed out that we're all quick to curse when things go wrong, and take the credit when things go right.

There are many little miricles every day, like getting green lights all the way to work when you're running late for work.

It's hard to notice the good and say thank you, but if we open our eyes a tiny bit, it is all around us.

 
At 10:50 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Ze'ev said...

What's the prize?

 
At 11:17 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

you have 2 choices:

1) U can guestblog my site one day
2) U can give me a topic that I must talk about

J.

 

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