As we conclude the celebration of Chanukah, also known as Hag Ha Nisim, the holiday of miracles, we have all witnessed a modern day miracle. With the whole world waiting impatiently, scientists, having only discovered the coronavirus ten months ago, have developed multiple vaccines in record time; the end of the pandemic is in sight.
But as much as we celebrate miracles in Jewish tradition, the Rabbis in the Talmud were extremely cautious. They were worried that people would expect or come to depend on miracles for their survival and not live their lives responsibly as a result. So they established a very important principle of “Ein somchin al ha nes,” meaning that we cannot depend or rely on miracles. I think they are absolutely right.
As miraculous as the vaccines are, they didn’t happen on their own. BIllions of dollars of research and development, with thousands of scientists working around the clock, made them happen. I want to thank all those who contributed and worked around the clock on this effort.
As miraculous as the vaccines are, we also need to listen to the Rabbis’ advice; we still cannot rely on miracles. Now is not the time to get careless; we still need to maintain our distance, follow the County health guidelines, and stay at home. The end of the pandemic is in sight, but miracles alone will not save us. We need to be able to depend on one another to make the pandemic go away, to make this real miracle happen.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Josh Dorsch