Kenneth Cohen

Outward Miracles

The Torah portions that describe the exodus from Egypt, are very significant in terms of its foundation to Judaism. There is an important philosophical message as to how Hashem interacts with the world.

In general, we are to seek out the miracles that we experience daily. We are to recognize the Hand of G-d even in mundane activities, and not take anything for granted.

However, during special times in our history, when the future existence of the Jewish people was challenged, G-d would reveal Himself in an open manner.
One such example was the showdown between Eliyahu Hanavi, and the false prophets of Baal. A great miracle was needed, and a fire came out of the sky, consuming Eliyahu’s sacrifice. This clearly showed the falsehood of Baal, and order was restored.

The outward miracles were needed in Egypt, as proof of the truth of Judaism. No religion began with signs and wonders, and the splitting of the Red Sea. This experience was culminated with the Revelation on Mount Sinai, when every Jew heard G-d speak.

The Kuzari tells the story of a king, seeking truth. He went to the Greek philosophers, a Christian, a Muslim, and finally, a Jew. He asked each how their religion or philosophy began. He further asked why only the Jewish religion began with exceptional miracles, witnessed by all.

When he was not given an acceptable answer, he converted, as did his entire kingdom. When great miracles are needed, Hashem provides them. But we must not forget the miracles we witness each day.

Now seems like a very good time for one of those outward miracles, where there will be salvation for the Jewish people, and the world will acknowledge the truth and might of the G-d of Israel.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at