The Miracle: ”Nes” or ”Peleh”?

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From the Rebbe’s explanation:

– … The Tzemach Tzedek explains that the origin of miracles “clothed” in the natural order is higher than the origin of purely supernatural events. The more the essence of a miracle is built into the “nature” of the world, the higher is its spiritual source. This is exactly what is implied by the worlds:

“… Performing great miracles, Alone” (Tehilim 136, 4).

The source of these miracles is at the level where the reality of the world feels non-existent. There’s only the Creator – Alone (“Levado”).

Interestingly, the same words are used by our teachers when they speak about the miracles that will take place during the time of the Future Geula (Redemption). They will come down from the level where the only perceived reality is the reality of HaShem – Alone.

… Miracles clothed in the laws of the world have an advantage over their supernatural counterparts. Why so? The reason for this is explained by the Mitteler Rebbe in his book “Shaar ha-Emunah”.

A miracle that appears to be “natural” manifests itself openly. Our minds can easily grasp it.

Not so are the miracles that rise above the laws of nature. In Hebrew, they are called “peleh”, referring to a kind of wonder that is loftier than ordinary miracles. We can see such wonders in action, but we have difficulty grasping their essence. Up to the point that a person who sees such a miracle is left speechless – so powerless is his mind to comprehend the event.

Conversely, a miracle ‘clothed’ in the natural order may look as a cascade of perfectly natural events. Such is the miracle of Purim. All the events of Purim are clearly regarded as miraculous, yet the story unfolds quite logically, through real human actions and interactions. In this case, it is quite clear that the Haman’s decree is annulled with the help of Esther and Mordechai.

There are other miracles like this in our life. The most prominent of them are enumerated in the Talmud:

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: Four must offer thanks to HaShem with a thanks-offering and a special blessing. They are: Seafarers, those who walk in the desert, and one who was ill and recovered, and one who was incarcerated in prison and went out. All of these appear in the verses of a psalm (Tehillim, Chapter 107). (Berakhot 54B)

Any event of this kind is a miracle – “nes” – even a person who experienced it, knows exactly what brought him deliverance or cure… In fact, there’s nothing natural about the nature.

Excerpted from “The Kobetz of 28 Sivan. The Jubilee edition” (starting from page 97). Free translation. 

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