The Jewish Eye
Is a Miracle a Miracle?
R' Yosef Yoizel Horowitz, The Alter of Navardok, was once sitting in a cabin in the woods learning Torah. His only source of light was a candle which was almost at its end. R' Yosef Yoizel was worried that he would be forced to stop learning, but he strengthened himself with thoughts of bitachon. He had strong faith that Hashem could provide a solution for him even in his isolated location. He walked to the front of the cabin, opened the door, and was startled to see someone approaching him from the woods. The stranger handed him a candle and disappeared into the woods.
R' Yosef Yoizel, who never discovered the identity of the stranger, saved the candle stub for twenty five years. He viewed it as proof of the miracle, and as a reminder of what could happen if one places his full faith in Hashem.
Eventually, a fire which engulfed Navordak destroyed the candle. R' Yosef Yoizel viewed this as a sign that there was no need for tangible proof of the reality of living with faith in Hashem. He felt that his initial excitement over the miracle of the candle was a lack of faith. A person with true bitachon should not be fazed by such seemingly unexplainable incidents. Instead, one should be constantly cognizant that nature itself is miraculous, and miracles can be natural. (From Madregas Ha'Adam)
Another story illustrating this concept is told about R' Moshe Shmuel Shapira, z"l, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ber Yaakov. One of his students was writing a biography of a famous Gadol. However, he was having difficulty verifying the authenticity of his sources. During this period, he traveled abroad, and was astounded to discover that the man sitting next to him on the plane was a direct descendant of the Gadol! Obviously, he took advantage of the plane trip to verify his sources, and glean even more information about the Gadol from his descendant. When he returned to Israel, he went to see R' Moshe Shmuel, and told him about this astounding incident. He was so excited as he told the story that he stumbled over his words. R' Moshe Shmuel looked at him calmly, failing to understand the source of his great excitement. He gently said, "What new thing are you telling me - that there is a Creator who runs the world?"
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