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Miracles X

“As in the days when you left Egypt I will show it wonders.” (Micah 7:15) Rabbi Abba said: “God will one day bring deliverance to His sons as in the days when He sent to deliver Israel and inflicted plagues on Egypt for their sake. What is the difference between this deliverance and that of Egypt? The deliverance in Egypt was from one king and one country; here it will be from all the kings of the earth. Then God will be glorified in all the world, and all shall know His dominion, as it is written, “God shall reign over the whole earth.” (Zechariah 14:9) And they shall bring Israel as an offering to the Holy One, Blessed is He, as it is written, “And they shall bring all your brethren.” (Isaiah 66:20) Then the patriarchs shall rejoice to see the deliverance of their sons, and so it is written, “As in the days of your going forth from Egypt I shall show him wonders.” (Zohar, Volume III 52a)

Rabbi Abba reads this verse as teaching us that the miracle of the deliverance from Egypt was one part of the final redemption. It was one step in the process of Redemption, which is the story of all of history. It was the beginning of the Revelation of God’s dominion over the world. It was a single step toward bringing the world to a point at which all the nations of the world will glorify and honor God.

It was difficult for the Chashmonaim, crushed and oppressed as they were by the Syrian-Greeks, to live with this vision of the world. How can people in such circumstances view the world as moving forward toward the Final Redemption?

Rabbi Abba teaches us, “the patriarchs shall rejoice to see the deliverance of their sons,” meaning that this was the Patriarch’s lesson; they viewed all that happened to them as moving God’s Creation forward toward its final Perfection.

The Chashmonaim learned the lesson of the patriarchs. They fought because they refused to let go of this vision. They were willing to fight against such overwhelming odds because they understood that their battle was, as the deliverance from Egypt, one step in the movement of the world forward to its perfection.

We do not view miracles as single events, but as connecting us back to the patriarchs and forward to a perfected Creation.

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