Do you believe in miracles?
In truth, our perception of a miracle emerges from the frequency of an event. For instance, we expect our eyes to see and ears to hear the world around us. We are not awed by our experience since, thank G-d, we can hear and see. Wait… Imagine for a moment a blind or deaf person who walks the world without these gifts. Close your eyes for a minute. How different our lives would be. Open your eyes and take in the colors, dimensions and beauty. Imagine the unadulterated joy of a blind person who is given the gift of sight!
Miracles abound. We must metaphorically open up our eyes.
Judaism recognizes the challenge of living in a world of the routine. The solution is leading a life of radical amazement. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel defines this phenomenon: “The root of religion is the question what to do with the feeling for the mystery of living, what to do with awe, wonder and amazement.” (God in Search of Man, p. 162) Once asked by an interviewer what he believed to be his greatest gift, Heschel replied, “My ability to be surprised.”
Tu B’Shvat calls on us to be perpetually surprised. We live in a world charged with the grandeur of G-d. As Rabbi Heschel observed, “A grove of trees was like a synagogue to me.”
What miracles can you see today? Every day make a list of the miracles in your life. Savor your Tree. Recite the Modeh Ani when you arise and express the radical amazement in your life. Allow the 24 hours of the holiday which begins tonight to reignite the light of G-d in your life and deepen your perception of the sparks of the Divine in a world of miracles each and every day.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen