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"Did That Really Happen?"

03/09/2021 11:33:57 AM


Chevre (Friends),

One of the frequently asked questions during the reading of the Haggadah, is about the reality of the plagues visited upon the Egyptians, and by extension, the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. "Did that really happen?" Sometimes it is asked with a twinge of disbelief or even accusation. 'How do you expect me to believe that such miracles took place in real life! Preposterous!' Sometimes it is asked with an extremely hopeful tenor. 'I want to believe that it happened. I want to believe in miracles!' 

Our release from slavery is part of our daily liturgy. In fact, it is so often recited and repeated that it sometimes feels as though the words have lost their import, their punch, their deep significance. "Moses and the people Israel joyfully sang this song to You:" [Author's Note: When is the last time you sang this joyfully?]

Mi khamokha ba-elim Adonai, mi kamokha ne'dar ba-kodesh, nor t'hilot, oseh feleh." 

Who is like You, Adonai, among all that is worshiped! Who is, like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, working wonders!"

The redeemed sang a new song for You. They sang in chorus at the shore of the sea, acclaiming Your sovereignty:

Adonai yimlokh l'olam va'ed.

"Adonai shall reign throughout all time."

Each time I hear about another precious soul receiving the miraculous Covid-19 vaccine, my belief in miracles is reaffirmed. It may be that only 3-5 years from now, the "Year of Covid" will become a sad memory, an historical reference, that is no longer front and center in our daily lives. But, for me, having lived through the fear-faith tango, while praying that our creative geniuses could, and would, develop effective vaccines, the words that hearken back to the miracles of our redemption thousands of years ago, are just as true today.

The words of our liturgy can have deep meaning. I invite you to spend some time really reading some of the prayers in the siddur. May you each be blessed with the awareness of everyday miracles in your lives, and may HaShem be praised by every living being!


Cantor Lois


Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782