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Shabbat Parashat Acharei Mot Kedoshim 5777

Ein Ayah: The Inherent Greatness and Innate Lacking of Miracles

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 5:3)

Gemara: The Rabbis taught: It once happened that that a man’s wife passed away and left him with a small baby who needed to be nursed. The man did not have any money to pay a wet nurse. A miracle occurred, and he grew breasts similar to a woman’s and nursed his son”. Rav Yosef said: See how great this man is that such a miracle occurred to him. Abaye said: The opposite is true. See how lacking this man is that the order of creation had to be changed for him”.


Ein Ayah: When a person is singled out for a specific miracle that happens in his personal life (even though all miracles are still connected to the more general picture of the mission of the world), there is definitely a special reason for his being chosen. For only a person whose soul is connected to the klal (nation or broad society) and focused on others is worthy of having a miracle happen to him. This is because miracles highlight matters that apply to the klal. Only the betterment of the whole engenders a need to change the normal and constant order of things.

Nevertheless even with such a great soul, let us not forget that a love for nature that Hashem created, the orderliness and inner workings of the world order, is the foundation and basis for wisdom, and holiness within the physical realms and a straightness of the heart. Therefore the reality and occurrence of a miracle must relate to a certain lacking in a person, a part that in its essence was leaning towards everything against the wise and straight.

The elements of the person’s lacking need to be rechanneled against their natural tendency, to be uplifted from the depths of their physical ailments to the honor and glory of that which is lofty. But this, in and of itself, represents a certain deficiency. For this shows that a person has not perfected his body and self but needs a change in the order of creation in order to be fully connected to the Heavenly kingdom.

The true greatness where there is no deficiency is when the heart returns to its natural purity and a person’s pure soul will be in synergy with his body. At that point the ability to cleave to Hashem will be done through the natural order of nature. Therefore with all the greatness we feel towards miracles, we must remember that we must look at them in wonderment, but our love must be focused towards the natural order that Hashem created for us. And as much as we recognize the greatness of a person who experienced a miracle happen to him, we must realize the innate deficiency implied by this, that the natural order of creation had to be changed for him.

[That is the reason that there are different opinions as to whether the miracle showed the greatness or the deficiency of this widower/father. In fact, both elements are true in their own way.]

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