While pulling out of the driveway, I glanced down at my dashboard just in time to see that the needle on my gas tank was nearing the end. All drivers know only too well what the feeling is when the needle is pointing to that last line and you know you have maybe another 10 kilometers until the gas tank is considered completely empty (at least that’s what my kids tell me).
The red light next to the “E” was shining bright, a constant reminder of my failure to look after one more important task on the way home from work, too absorbed in my own thoughts to realize that this car was going on empty.
I had no choice. I forged ahead, all alone, on that 25-kilometer journey toward the closest gas station in Jerusalem.
All the while, I prayed while also doing my part to make sure that this miracle would happen, trying hard not to push too much on the gas pedal.
“Please God don’t let me get stuck. Please let me make it to the gas station. Please. Please. Please God.”
Maybe it was divine intervention or just a wild freak of nature but whatever the reason, I made it.
That amount of gas that should have only lasted me until the first tunnel somehow lasted all the way until the gas station.
What a miracle! I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and came out the other side.
Let it be known that today will be marked down in history as the day I successfully drove the 25 kilometers (Devora-kah) to Jerusalem on what should have only been enough gas to make it half the distance.
But let’s be real people, because there will be no such holiday recorded in neither the Jewish nor the national calendar since, for what it’s worth, surviving a life-threatening illness, a car accident, or even winning the lottery is only an ordained miracle when the rest of the world around you says so.
When it comes to miracles, it’s all relative.
The relativity of miracles can be seen quite distinctly in relation to the generation of Jews who left Egypt. This vast group witnessed the splitting of the Red Sea, heard the divine voice when receiving the commandments, survived the ten plagues and lived through years of slavery.
Would it ever have dawned on them to create a holiday that commemorates the fact that their shoes never wore out for those forty long desert trekking years? How could they not appreciate such a blatant miracle, staring them right in the face? Anyone who has worn their shoes every day in the desert knows all too well that divine intervention is required for this to happen.
I wonder what we would call that holiday anyways: All Soles’ Day?
Would we all buy each other Jimmy Choos and Manolos while tolerating Maccabeat songs about walking 500 miles and sending out cheesy Hallmark greeting cards that say things like “Will you be my sole mate?”
But instead of shoes, we have donuts because in the case of our Chanuka oil extravaganza, the Maccabees generation of Jews hadn’t really experienced any good, documented, unexplainable deeds from the “big guy upstairs” for what seemed to be an eternity. The oil miracle would have to suffice.
On the flip-side, the “desert-going-shoe-wearing” generation did.
I am well aware that the story of Chanukah is not just about the oil.
There were wars, and fighting, and terrible atrocities in the Temple for the span of three years and six months while Antiochus IV took over the city of Jerusalem, plundered and slaughtered the people with no mercy.
Chanuka is about independence. It’s about pride.
It just seems to me that when it comes to appreciating miracles in our day to day lives, it’s all about what else is going on. So much of what we appreciate is really about the relativity of the events surrounding them.
Because big oil miracle aside, when we take a look around us, miracles are plentiful and all but staring us in the face.
Those miracles that we sometimes overlook are the ones that we rely on to restore our faith, give us happiness and allow us to feel a sense of personal fulfillment on a daily basis. We live in a time of miracles where every day is one big blessing.
Oil and gas tank miracles aside.
On that note, if you are interested in celebrating “All Soles’ Day” and want to buy me a pair of Choos, message me privately.
Because some miracles you gotta make happen on your own.