Monday, June 14, 2010

Is It Okay To Minimize the Miraculousness of Biblical Miracles?

A Guest Post By E. Fink

Of course it is okay to minimize the miraculousness of Biblical miracles.

In fact, I don't understand why some people (ahem, ahem) are so bothered by minimizing Biblical miracles. Why was there resistance to the idea that the manna might have been a natural substance that was miraculously present on a consistent basis? (I wrote about that last week: Thoughts on Manna and on my blog.)

The Chinuch is as clear as can be about this concept. The Chinuch says that the reason that God made the wind blow the night before the splitting of the sea was so that the miracle would not be totally obvious. Similarly, there is an obligation to light the fire on the mizbeyach even though the fire miraculously came down from heaven. God does miracles with tznius and making the miracle SEEM natural is a more tzanua way of performing miracles.

I am certain there are plenty more sources to this effect. It just happens that I was looking at the Netziv in this week's parsha and he is guilty of the same alleged crime as I am.

The Netziv in parshas Chukas tries to explain the miracle of water that came from the rock in a natural way. The Netziv says that there are rocks that spout water, the miracle of this rock was that it had so much water.

Why is the Netziv trying to minimize Biblical miracles? I can't say for sure. But whatever the reason, it is definitely okay. So please take up another issue to fight about. On this one, you are wrong.

Search for more information about God's tznius at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To believe with certainty,we must begin with doubting.

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