Believing in Miracles
Ehud is driving in Jerusalem. Hes late for a meeting. Hes looking for a parking place and cant find one. In desperation he turns towards Heaven and says, "G-d, if you find me a parking space, I promise that Ill eat only kosher, respect Shabbat and all the holidays."
Miraculously a place opens up just in front of him. He turns his face up to Heaven and says, "Never mind, I just found one."
Yigal is climbing a mountain in Nepal after completing his military service. He loses his footing and begins a fall to certain death. A small branch jutting out of the side of the cliff provides him with temporary relief, but he realizes that in a moment it will break under his weight. In desperation he looks towards Heaven and asks: "Is there anyone up there to help me?"
A voice from above responds:
"Let go of the branch and you will be saved!"
Yigal thinks for a moment, looks up again and asks:
"Is there anyone else up there?"
Two imaginary stories with the same message. In desperation most people will turn to Heaven for help but when it comes many of them are reluctant to assume the responsibilities that come with it. This is why the headlines of secular newspapers can shout that a "miracle" happened when a terrorist attack is thwarted in time but so few of their readers see in this miracle the hand of G-d who is the true "Guardian of Israel".
The survival of the Jewish People throughout history is one great miracle, and the survival of the Jewish State is a modern miracle. As we begin this Shabbat a new year of Torah reading in the synagogue, let us hope that the account of Creation in this weeks portion will awaken all of our people to the realization that the Divine Author of nature is the One who makes the miracles that enable us to survive and that He expects us to fulfill our responsibilities as the Chosen People so that we will be worthy of His miraculously protecting Israel forever.