Imagine that I am running a Torah organization, and funds are tight. Things are so bad that it looks like we might have to close down. I decide to take action, and I’m not wasting time. I’m going straight to the top. I’m going to find myself the most famous, hidden Kabbalist in all of Israel and get a berachah. So I get on a plane. As soon as we land, I take a cab straight to Tzefas, and I find him—a direct descendant of Baba Sali. He’s the real McCoy.
I enter the dimly lit, book-lined room where the Kabbalist is sitting. I approach and tell him why I came.
He looks right through me as he says, “I know about you. You are doing good work. I will help, but you must listen to what I say—exactly.”
“Ah… yes, sir, absolutely,” I respond.
“Take a plane immediately back to America. As soon as you land, go to Wal-Mart and buy sixty matchbox cars.”
“Sixty cars?” I repeat.
“YOU MUST LISTEN!” he screams in a whisper.
“Yes, sir,” I meekly answer.
“Then, take each of those cars and lay them out in the parking lot. There must be six feet between each car. When you are finished, go into a beis midrash and read from this parchment. ”
“Well… I… I uh…”
“And…” he adds as I prepare to leave, “when you have done as I have told you, wait one hour and open this letter. You will then understand.”
I walk out, not quite sure what to make of what he told me, but, hey, I have nothing to lose. So I get back on the plane, and as soon as I land, I head straight to Wal-Mart and buy those sixty toy cars. I lay them out in the parking lot, six feet between each one. I head to a nearby beis midrash, say the words on the parchment, and wait.
A few minutes later, I look out the window and… “Huh?!” The cars start growing. They’re getting bigger and bigger. Before long the entire parking lot is filled with cars: Cadillacs, BMWs, Jaguars…
I grab the Kabbalist’s letter to see what this all means, and I read: “Now, go sell those cars, and use the money well. Chazak u’baruch.”
The miracle of nature
What if this actually happened? What if I watched a two-inch toy car grow into a full-sized SUV? What would my reaction be? I would probably fall on my face and say, “Miracle of miracles! This is astounding! It’s beyond amazing!”
Yet, isn’t this precisely what we experience every time we put a seed into the ground? From a tiny seed comes a full-size wheat stalk. From another grows a rose bush. From an acorn comes an oak tree. Is it any less astounding? Is it any less miraculous than a toy car growing into a vehicle you can drive?
Think about it. Fully edible food—exactly what need we need for our sustenance—grows out of the ground: corn, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, red peppers…
They aren’t produced in factories. No one sits there figuring out the recipe or how long to leave them in the oven. All the farmer needs to do is plant the seed in the ground, and then that product grows from the ground, prepared and packaged, ready to eat.
What about fruit trees? Fully developed, perfectly ripe fruit, form on their own: apples, pears, oranges, grapes, cherries…
If you ever happen to walk into a cornfield at the end of the summer and the stalks are higher than your head, each one laden with many, many ears of succulent corn, ask yourself: where did this come from? A farmer planted a seed, and out came a fully formed cornstalk, with a husk protecting it, the sugars formed to ripen on time, and the meat of the corn split into bite-sized kernels. Isn’t that a miracle?
The world screams out about its Creator
When you study nature, you see the Creator. When you look at the world around you and contemplate the many harmonious systems, all integrated, all perfectly in balance, you see Hashem.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.
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