Do you believe in miracles? I do, but I guess I see things through a different lens than some others. The Tanakh is full of miraculous wonders, and often I hear people say, “Why did they stop?” or “Then stopped because of such and such event,” but they never really stopped if you have eyes to see and an opened mind/heart.
In the 1960s if I told you that the soviet union would fall and communism would end without a single shot fired between the U.S. and the USSR, you’d say I’m crazy, a complete loon… but it happened. If I said to you in the 1950s that America would have its first black president in 2009 and later its first black female vice president in 2021, I’d probably be laughed at. If I said to Jews during WWII that the state of Israel would be reborn in 1947, I’d probably be mocked and treated with scorn during that horrific time.
Heck if I told myself 20 years ago that I’m ethnically a Jew, would leave extremism and convert to Judaism, I’d probably beat the snot out of myself back then. If I told a person in the 1980s that we’d all have phones that fit in our pocket with the collected knowledge of the world at our fingertips, a camera, calculator, and much more built-in, I bet they’d tell me to stop watching so much Star Trek.
Life seems to have a butterfly effect of sorts, whereas one thing leads to another and then another, and great change happens over time, but the initial spark, turns into a miracle as it sets everything into motion. While some might say that I’m attributing human change or brilliance to something supernatural, but in reality, I am saying these things were divinely inspired, not necessarily that G-d did them. Making a vaccine for Covid-19 in one year’s time, that’s no small feat and many in the scientific world said it couldn’t be done in that time frame, yet here we are.
My back issues from Ankylosing Spondylitis left me bedridden for months, last night I attended synagogue, stood, bowed, and felt no pain whatsoever. I am back to working out and will soon be back to my martial arts training as well, there is no rational or logical explanation for it and even my wife has said, “It’s a miracle.” I am thoroughly a believer in miracles!!!
So, when I began my journey into Judaism, I read about seeing the wonderment in the world, to see the awe and beauty in the world, and to find my place in it… and I began doing just that. I started seeing people, the world, G-d… just about everything in a whole new way with childlike eyes filled with adoration, appreciation, and gratitude. My cynicism of things completely dissolved and my optimism grew like a tall oak tree, for me, this was life-changing.
Seeing the world through wonderment and awe led me to examine things in the past in a context I hadn’t had before, which led me to my believing in miracles. This led me to understand that not everything has to be understood, not everything needs a logical explanation, which is why even science doesn’t have all of the answers, only speculations, and theories that can change through peer review and experimentation. In Reform Judaism we love science right alongside our religion, we don’t deny either and resolve to acknowledge both, hence we can and many do believe in things that are unexplainable (ie. miracles).
Miracles happen every day, in ways we cannot fully comprehend, and much like science, whether you believe in them or not, they don’t require your belief to happen and be true.