Have You Seen the Light?

December 25, 2014 by

In counting the descendants of Leah the Torah says there were thirty-three people at the time Ya'akov entered Egypt. Rashi points out that if you actually count them you'll only find thirty-two. Rather the Torah is including Yocheved into the count, who was conceived in the Land of Canaan and born later when they came to Egypt (Bereishis; 46:15). The Ramban explains that this is actually a great miracle. Because if Yocheved was only born as they entered Egypt, it can be calculated that she was 130 years old when she gave birth to Moshe! Now besides that fact that that is really old to give birth, it's almost equally intriguing that the Torah makes absolutely no mention of this. Unlike Sarah who gave birth to Yitzchak at the age of 90, the Torah does nothing to highlight this tremendous miracle. The question is why?

The Ramban explains that the Torah does not go out of its way to mention every miracle that happened. The reason for this is because for a Jew, miracles are the norm. We don't necessarily see them because they play themselves out within the guise of nature, but the truth is there is nothing natural about our existence.

Chanukah is over. After eight amazing nights you may be feeling a bit reluctant to reenter the atmosphere of the mundane. Is there any way that we can retain the inspiration? Can anything be done to maintain the status of "ma'alin bakodesh" - spiritual ascent? From the miracles of Chanukah we learned that Hashem is with us even in the darkest moments. Hashem is constantly producing miracles. Now that the candles are out, the only question to ask is – have you seen the light?

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