Parashat bo: Living miraculously

We can now grasp why the laws of nature can be defined as miraculous.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
January 18, 2018 19:59
3 minute read.
THE EIGHTH Plague of Locusts is depicted in this illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible

THE EIGHTH Plague of Locusts is depicted in this illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

This week’s Torah portion, Bo, like the one before it – Va’era – tells us about the miracles that occurred in Egypt thousands of years ago. The plague of locusts brought masses of locusts that covered the Egyptian skies; the plague of darkness brought three days on which the sun did not shine; the plague of the firstborn brought sudden death upon the firstborn of Egypt; and the greatest miracle of all was the liberation of the Jewish nation from slavery and their exodus from Egypt, on their way toward the Promised Land, the Land of Israel.

What is the meaning of the word “miracle”? Simply put, it is an occurrence that defies the law of nature. When an event happens over and over again, it is no longer defined as miraculous. We see it as natural. But is this actually so? Is the dichotomy between what we consider to be a miracle and a natural occurrence justified?

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