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Thought for the Day: Inner Miracles

The mishna in Avos says that 10 miracles were done for our ancestors in Mitzrayim. (Avos 5:5).  The Rav explains that the 10 miracles were that the Jews were saved from the 10 plagues.  I found this troublesome; seemingly the main reason for the plagues were to get the Jews out!  Of course they were not hurt by them!  Worse, to say that they were "saved" sounds as though a special intervention was needed to ensure their safety.

It finally dawned on me that just because something doesn't make sense to me, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense to HaShem; He might have a different idea.  The Ibn Ezra said about himself that his mazal was so bad that if he went into making tachrichim (burial shrouds), people would stop dying.  The Rambam commented, "No, people would just be buried naked."  HaShem has many ways to get His Will done.  So even though the plagues were not "b'derech hateva" in any way shape or form; still, HaShem wants things to look at natural as possible.  If there are plagues in Egypt, its going to take a miracle for the Jews to be saved from them.

On a somewhat deeper level, the Maharal says that the Jews in Egypt were very much like a fetus in the womb.  When the 70 souls first went down, there were too few of them to become a nation while living on their own.  The young organism that is Klal Yisrael needed an appropriate environment to develop into a nation (of 600,000 souls; give or take) that could stand on its own.  In the natural course of things, the serious devastation that Egypt was suffering would naturally affect the nation it was nurturing.  Of course, when did this happen?  Just as Klal Yisrael was being birthed -- thrust out of Goshen that had been its womb.  Chazal want us to never take things for granted just because they "happen all the time".  A birth, any birth, is a serious disruption of the "nature" that both mother and child have experienced till then.  We need to not take that for granted and give thanks for each miracle and every aspect of each miracle that we all experience in our daily lives.

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