Halacha for Sunday 14 Adar 5777 March 12 2017

The Holiday of Purim-Open Miracles

Question: Are there no open miracles in our days because we are unworthy of them?

Answer: Our Sages teach us in several places that Hashem does not perform miracles for naught since doing so entails changing the laws of nature that Hashem established in this world which is tantamount to the creation of a “new world.” It is for this reason that our Sages (Shabbat 32a) teach us that one should not pray for a miracle to be performed for him, for if this occurs, some of the individuals will be deducted since this is like creating a new world for a single person.

Nevertheless, in previous generations, there was a need for Hashem to perform great and revealed miracles, for the Jewish nation, by nature and by virtue of the upbringing they were engrained with by living in Egypt for Hundreds of years among an idolatrous nation, was not yet prepared for belief in Hashem. All other nations in the days of yore likewise believed that the stars and constellations were the cause of all goodness and abundance and thus began worshipping the stars. The Jewish nation was likewise influenced by the error of the other nations of the world.

It is for this reason that the Jewish nation continuously sinned against Hashem in the desert making the Golden Calf and later worshipping Micha’s idol; similarly, when they entered Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish nation strayed after idol worship several times. Even when they were exiled from Israel, some Jewish women told Yirmiya Ha’Navi (Yirmiyahu 44, 18), “From the time we have stopped offering incense to the heavenly objects and pouring libation offerings to them, we lack everything and we have perished by sword and starvation.” This is because the women of that generation were certain that the source of abundance was only by serving the stars and other heavenly objects. (Just as those who consult with individuals who practice “practical Kabbalah” and other mystics in our generation are addicted to such practices and do not realize the futility in doing so.)

In order to abolish such flawed beliefs and to imbue the Jewish nation with a strong sense of belief in the true Master of the Universe, Hashem performed open miracles in order to show that Hashem is the true G-d and that He alone orchestrates the heavenly objects, which have no influence at all on the Jewish nation. It is for this reason that Hashem performed miracles which went against the laws of nature, in order for all to know that their previous beliefs were all baseless lies. Likewise, Moshe Rabbeinu referred to these supernatural miracles many times in order for the Jewish nation to realize that Hashem is the true G-d. Similarly, the prophets Shmuel and Eliyahu performed supernatural miracles for the Jewish nation by bringing down rain and fire from the sky; after the Jewish nation observed such miracles, they knew that the land was Hashem’s alone. Thus, the purpose of the all these miracles was to establish Hashem’s sovereignty in the heart of the Jewish nation. Nevertheless, the Jewish nation forgot the wonders their eyes had seen from time to time and returned to their wicked ways.

Nonetheless, all of this applied only until the times of Queen Esther. From the time of Queen Esther and on, however, the Jewish nation accepted Hashem’s Torah whole-heartedly. Haman devised his evil plan because he calculated that the Jewish nation’s fortune was quite bad during the month of Adar; indeed, according to the order of the constellations, this was actually true and that time ripe for the destruction of the Jewish nation, G-d-forbid. Indeed, according to the great astrologers, this occurred at a time when the Jewish nation’s fortune was towards the end of the constellation of Aquarius, which is a terrible time for the Jewish nation. On the other hand, Amalek’s fortune at that time was quite good, for the constellation that represents Amalek is Leo and at that time, Leo was in a favorable position with the sun before it and Jupiter shining right across from it. All of the lunar, planetary, and stellar systems at that time were against the Jewish nation and in favor of Amalek.

Hashem, however, disrupted Amalek’s plans, rearranged the stars, and switched everything for Israel to be victorious and Amalek to fall. Everyone then realized the might of Hashem and the insignificance of the stars and constellations. From the time the miracle of Esther occurred, we have not heard of a large portion of the Jewish nation returning to sins involving idolatry and belief in the stars.

It is for this reason that from that time and on, open and revealed miracles have ceased from the Jewish nation, for we no longer need them for the completion of our belief. Let us be clear: This is not because we are unworthy of such miracles; on the contrary, this is because our belief has been complete since the times of Queen Esther, we no longer need such miracles until the Final Redemption, at which point Hashem shall, once again, perform many miracles and wonders for us. (See Rabbeinu Yehonatan Eibeschitz’s Ya’arot Devash, Darush 3.)

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